MANILA -- A labor group on Thursday welcomed the decision of the National Wages and Productivity Board to fast-track the deliberations on the adjustment of minimum wage in Metro Manila.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), which filed a P75 across-the-board increase last March, is hoping that the new rate will be sufficient to help the workers.

"We remind the wage board that a new salary increase should also attempt to raise workers' standard of living and not to merely address their reduced purchasing power," said TUCP spokesperson Rafael Mapalo.

On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the NWPC has established a "supervening condition" in Metro Manila, which paved the way for hearings and deliberations on the wage hike petition.

Under the law, regional boards are barred from entertaining wage petitions within one year unless there is a "supervening condition" or an extraordinary increase in prices of basic commodities.

Minimum wage earners in Metro Manila started to receive P404 last July 2010, when the NWPC decided to raise salaries by P22.

Meantime, Mapalo said their group will file separate wage petitions in some Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs).

"In the next few days, TUCP will file wage petitions ranging from Php75 to Php100 in Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4A (Calabarzon), 7 (Central Visayas) and 10 (Northern Mindanao)," he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)