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Minimum wage earners poorer due to TRAIN - labor group.

Minimum wage earners have become poorer after the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the workers' group Associated Labor Union (ALU) claimed yesterday.

It said workers are now seeking immediate government aid to help them cope with the continuing erosion of their purchasing power, which has reportedly dropped significantly since the law took effect two months ago.

'Data from the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) showed that the total average daily nominal minimum wage of P329.35 in the country's 17 regions is now only worth P210,' said ALU spokesman Alan Tanjusay.

'We noticed the erosion of wage's purchasing power moved quickly downwards by six percent in just a matter of two months upon the effectivity of TRAIN in January. This extraordinary devaluation of monthly salary is significant to the informal sector workers earning less than P12,000 a month and the minimum wage earners receiving less than the same amount,' Tanjusay stressed.

The value of the daily minimum wage of P512 in Metro Manila, the country's highest, fell to P357.29 while the real value or purchasing power of the country's lowest minimum pay of P265 a day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is reduced to only P152.12 a day.

'As of March 1, 2018, the total purchasing power of workers for a month fell to P8,575,' Tanjusay noted.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), he pointed out that a family of five would need at least P9,064, the published standard amount to survive above the poverty line in 2015.

Tanjusay called on the government to come out with immediate and quality measures to save workers from falling deeper into poverty.

He said the purchasing power of workers can erode further with the inflation rate hitting 3.9 percent by end of February and is likely to go up by the end of March.

The labor group is urging the government to provide a P500 monthly subsidy for minimum wage earners to help them cope with the adverse impact of rising inflation rate. This proposal would be presented in a meeting with President Duterte on March 22.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Mar 13, 2018
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