MWEs real income fell to
P250 - P361 versus P393 needed by family to survive in 1 day
30 million ‘Endo’ workers
fall deeper into poverty in January 2017
April 22, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Despite
the country’s consistent high economic growth, thirty million
short-term contractual, minimum-waged earners remained a working poor
as the value of purchasing power of their daily wage remained below
the standard poverty threshold level, the country’s biggest labor
group labor group the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of
the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said yesterday.
However, these minimum-waged
earners who helped built the country’s high economic wealth are living
way below standard poverty line. Their chances to get out of poverty
by way of job regularization and security of tenure on employment is
forever shut by the recent issuance of Department Order 174.
Rather than prohibiting
contractualization, DO 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) ‘legalize’ and perpetuate contractualization. Aside from having
no security of tenure because their work for less than 6 months,
contractual workers are forever tied to minimum wage.
The National Economic
Development Authority (NEDA) set the Poverty Threshold Level or the
standard amount needed by a family of five for them to survive in a
month in the year 2015 is P9,064 or P393 a day.
In a monitoring made by the
ALU-TUCP on the behavior of workers’ purchasing power vis-a-vis cost
of living, the real value of Endo workers’ nominal P491 daily minimum
wage in Metro Manila fell to P361.30 in January 2017 which is
equivalent to P8,671.20 a month, according to data from the country’s
wage board the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).
The average real wage amount
in regions outside National Capital Region, on one hand, is P250 a day
or equivalent to P6,000 per month.
Thus, the buying powers of
minimum wages P361 in Metro Manila and P250 in regions outside NCR are
inadequate compared with the P393 amount needed by a family to survive
in a day.
It means, minimum-waged
workers needs least P32 more and P143 more on top of their daily pay
for workers within and outside Metro Manila respectively to stay
within the threshold and considered not poor.
“There has been no inclusive
growth for MWEs because the buying power of minimum wage is going
downward amid rising prices of basic necessities and cost of services.
Because they have no savings and inadequate government support
programs, minimum waged workers are so vulnerable that if they get
sick, if they get late or absent from their work, or any small price
hike shocks, they fall deeper and deeper into poverty,” said ALU-TUCP
spokesman Alan Tanjusay.
The Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) estimated there are 7 out of 10 of the 43 million
workers are employed as contractuals working in less than six-month
short-term employment receiving mandated minimum wage.
Tanjusay said the ALU-TUCP
offer various pragmatic measures towards helping workers cope with
growing inflation. He said government should ban contractualization,
provide a minimal cash amount by way of monthly subsidy while
reinforcing government’s enforcement of compliance to labor and price
Employers, on the other
hand, could help their employees cope with poverty by voluntarily
providing across-the-board wage increase and implement in-house
programs providing their employees with cash and non-cash benefits,
Government define poverty
threshold as the minimum income required to meet food and non-food
needs of a family of five including clothing, housing, transportation,
health and educational expenses.