BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The labor sector in Western Visayas is eyeing the filing of a consolidated petition for a P100 wage increase per day in their Worker’s Manifesto, amidst the skyrocketing prices of fuel.
Wennie Sancho, Labor Representative to the Regional Wage Board, in his letter to Labor regional director Sixto Rodriguez, requested for the inclusion of the Worker’s Manifesto in the next meeting of the Regional Wage Board on March 10.
Sancho said that the extraordinary increases in the prices of petroleum products, as well as other goods and services constitutes a “supervening condition that would allow the Regional Wage Board to initiate the process of minimum wage fixing, even without a formal wage petition from the labor sector.”
If needed, Sancho said the labor sector may file a petition for a P100 wage increase per day. But for now, he added, “we are urging the Regional Wage Board to act on the labor’s primordial concern.”
The Workers’ Manifesto, according to Sancho, is an embodiment of the miserable plight of labor sector brought about by the escalating increases in the price of basic goods and services, and the skyrocketing lift off in the prices of petroleum products.
Effective today, fuel prices are set to go up for the tenth straight time on Tuesday, with prices of gasoline to increase by P3.60 per liter, diesel by P5.85 per liter and kerosene by P4.10.
On the other hand, a transport group in Negros Occidental is poised for a five-day strike if the government will not suspend the implementation of 12 percent Value Added Tax and excise taxes on fuels, as its prices further increase without let up.
Diego Malacad, secretary general of the United Negros Drivers Operators Center (UNDOC), said they are eyeing to go on strike by the end of March if the government continues to ignore their demands.
Malacad said they are now in the process of communicating with the school, church, and business process outsourcing company sectors as to their planned strike.
UNDOC also calls for an increase in fares for public utility vehicles (PUV) by P5 for national PUVs, and P2.50 for provincial PUVs.
Malacad said they will conduct a unity forum with various stakeholders on March 10 to discuss he validity of their planned transport stoppage.*