A LABOR group in Cagayan de Oro City is calling for the government to abolish the Regional Tripartite Wage and Regulatory Board (RTWPB) in Northern Mindanao for being “unhelpful” to the workers.

Nicandro L. Borja, vice chairman of the Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) in Northern Mindanao, accused the wage board of being “incapable of looking for ways” to expedite its ruling on the current wage petition.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency 

This came after some of the members of the labor sector found no refuge from the wage board in a public hearing conducted last week with the representatives from the government and the employers.

“It has to be abolished. They have nothing to do with our petition,” Borja said in an interview while the public hearing was ongoing.

However, RTWPB in Northern Mindanao Director Alan Macaraya called it as an “unfounded statement,” saying the wage board has been approving several petition of wage increase from the time the board was created.

“They can abolish it (RTWPB). Anyway, this is just an added responsibility for us,” Macaraya, the concurrent regional director for Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said, noting that the government gives no additional compensation to them to man the wage board.

Macaraya said the RTWPB was able to release around 14 wage orders in the past years. Consolidated amount of increase reaches more than P400.

The last wage order was on June 1, 2008, increasing the non-agricultural wage of P234 to P256, which employers are currently paying to workers in the private sector. (Loui S. Maliza)