THE National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) practically ended Friday, May 20, all hopes for the return of the national minimum wage system under the Duterte administration.

This, after NWPC Executive Director Criselda Sy said it is not within their mandate to establish a national minimum wage rate under the Wage Rationalization Act.

"We don't have the mandate, as a delegated agency of Congress, to set the minimum wage rate for the entire country," said Sy in a televised public briefing.

"The NWPC and all the regional wage boards are merely following the mandate given to us by Congress to make the minimum wage structure regionalized," she added.

The labor official also believes that having regional wage rates are also logical.

This, Sy said, is due to the different living conditions in the regions.

"If we look at the data, there is really different living conditions in every region," she said.

"For example, in the National Capital Region, there is higher cost of living than in the provinces," added Sy.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the Department of Labor and Employment to look into the possibility of reviving the national minimum wage system as soon as he assumed the presidency in 2016. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)