Workers demand pay of pandemic allowance

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          The labor sector continues to demand from the management the disbursement of the Pandemic Emergency Relief Allowance (PERA) pay instead of wage adjustments.

          Wennie Sancho, labor representative in the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board, yesterday said that most establishments in the region are hesitant in giving PERA to their workers.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board

          This, he said, despite the continued  operation of these businesses while adopting the flexible working arrangement with their workers.

          Sancho said that data from the Department of Labor and Emplyment showed that there 78,049 workers affected by closure and flexible working arrangement in the region.

          The flexible working arrangement, adopted by 1,813 establishments, has affected 54,436 minimum wage workers, Sancho said.

          He added that there are 1,310 establishments that have temporarily closed operation as of June 2021, affecting about 33, 613 workers.

Sancho said that even with flexible working arrangement, some businesses were forced to close shop due to difficulty in sustaining operation.

The reluctance to give the PERA to the workers, he said, stems from the uncertainties on the part of the management to re-open their business while the community quarantine classification in the local government units remains in place.

Nevertheless, Sancho said they will continue to demand for the payment of PERA to the workers and raise the same petition during the RTWPB meeting this month.

If the management refused to grant the PERA, Sancho said their option is to start petitioning for another round of wage adjustment, since it has been more than a year since the latest wage order was implemented. – MML