Wage hike before Labor Day unlikely-A A +A
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
METRO Manila workers may finally get their much-awaited salary increase but not before Labor Day.
According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NPWC) has already confirmed the declaration of “supervening condition” in Metro Manila thus paving way for the start in the hearings and deliberations on the pending wage petition.
“What is very clear is that the process has started,” Baldoz said in an interview.
She added that the deliberation set to be conducted by the National Capital Region (NCR) wage board would begin by the end of the month or 15 days after the publication of the declaration of a "supervening condition".
However, this would mean that the anticipated wage adjustment would not be implemented in time for Labor Day on May 1.
“I think the wage board would be able to grant a salary increase after the Labor Day celebration due to the day requirement for public hearing,” Baldoz said.
Under the law, regional boards are restricted from entertaining wage petitions within one year unless there is a “supervening condition” or an extraordinary increase in prices of basic commodities.
In Metro Manila, the last wage order was issued back in July 2010, wherein an additional P22 was added to the basic rate.
Last March, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) filed a petition pushing for an increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila to P479 from the current P404.
The TUCP reasoned that a P75 daily increase is essential if workers are to cope with the increasing prices of commodities and cost of living and if they are to meet the basic needs of their families.
Baldoz related that the report from the NWPC showed that the wage board believes that the continuing political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is causing extraordinary increases in prices of petroleum products and this also resulted to higher transport fares.
On the other hand, employers, who are also part of the tripartite board, rendered a dissenting opinion after claiming that there is no basis to warrant a conclusion of the existence of supervening condition as manifested in the NCR inflation rate.
Baldoz said the public hearings to be conducted by the wage board would be the basis in determining the amount and form of financial relief to be given the workers. (AMN/Sunnex)