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VARIOUS quarters concede that the country cannot afford to have “labor unrest” at a time when the Filipino people, particularly the poor, are buffeted by a host of problems.
That’s why we doff our hat to Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III for ordering the country’s regional wage boards to study the possibility of raising the daily minimum wage.
Bello issued the order amid the skyrocketing prices of imported petroleum products, like diesel, gasoline and kerosene, and other essential commodities in the local market.
He told the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to submit their recommendation before May. Like the rest of the world, the Philippines marks Labor Day on May 1.
In the past, the President announced in his/her annual Labor Day address a package of wage and non-wage benefits, drawing cheers and praises from members of the working class.
Today, no less than Secretary Bello acknowledged that it’s probably time for the wage boards to work on various petitions seeking wage adjustments.
Likewise, he admitted that the purchasing capacity of workers has been affected by the unabated price hikes.
Note that the Philippines, a Third World nation of more than 110 million English-speaking and election-crazy people, is a major importer of fossil fuels from the Middle East.
What’s compounding the problem is the worsening of the two-week old armed conflict between Russia, one of the world’s major oil exporters, and Ukraine.
Baka tataas pa ang presyo ng mga produktong petrolyo kaya dapat pag-aralang mabuti ng gobyerno ang pagbibigay ng umento sa sahod ng mga manggagawa.