Minimum wage hike in Visayas way below labor groups' demands

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 13) - Minimum wage earners in the Visayas will enjoy a pay increase but labor groups are demanding more.

This week, the three regional wage boards raised the minimum wage to up to P365 in Western Visayas, P386 in Central Visayas and P305 in Eastern Visayas.

"Yung bagong inaprobahan na pagtaas sa sweldo ay barya-barya lang. Hindi 'yun sapat para buhayin ang isang pamilya. Kaillangan talaga ng gobyerno na ipanukala na lahat ng sweldo sa lahat ng rehiyon at sa Manila ay pantay [The new approved wage hike is just loose change. It is not enough to for a family to survive. The government should instead make the pay in the region the same with Manila's]," said Charlie Ponclara, president of Samahan ng mga Manggagawang Kontrakwal sa Iloilo.

The group also called to push the P750 national minimum wage for private workers and P16,000 monthly for those who are working in the government.

The highest adjustment was given to Western Visayas, where the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) added P41.50 to the daily pay of non-agricultural, industrial and commercial workers. This means an increase of P26.50 on basic wage and COLA increase of P15.

P23.50, meanwhile, was added for workers in businesses with less than 10 employees, bringing their new wage rate to P295.

RTWB-6 said there will be a wage hike moratorium on the island of Boracay until it reopens.

In Central Visayas, an additional P20 for Class A cities, and P15 for those in Class B, C, D and E cities.  Companies with fewer than 10 employees will have a P10 increase in their daily pay.

In Eastern Visayas, daily minimum wage in both agriculture and nonagriculture sectors will be P305.

CNN Philippines' Juntar Tariman contributed to this story.