DESPITE the continuing rise in prices of basic commodities, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday, July 6, 2022, that a new round of wage hike is highly unlikely to come anytime soon.

In an online media forum, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said he does not see the regional wage boards approving fresh wage orders with salary hikes just recently approved.

"Candidly, the wage orders only come sporadically," said Laguesma.

He issued the statement after it was raised when he met several labor groups prior to his assumption as DOLE chief last July 1.

"The labor groups gave us a list of suggestions, gripes, and concerns. One of these is related to wage and the prices of basic goods and commodities," said Laguesma.

But the labor chief said there is a slim chance for a new wage order to be issued by regional wage board.

"A supervening event that will justify (another wage hike), they have to argue on that," said Laguesma.

As a general rule, any wage order issued by the regional wage boards may not be disturbed for a period of 12 months from its effectivity, with no wage petitions to be entertained within the period.

The wage boards, however, may exercise their wage fixing function even before the expiration of the period upon the determination of "supervening conditions."

Supervening conditions may refer to cases of extraordinary increase in prices of petroleum products and basic goods and services.

Earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country's inflation rate in June 2022 was at 6.1 percent, which is the highest since November 2018.

Just last month, all 16 regions in the country saw the wage orders issued by their respective regional wage boards take effect. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)