November 5, 2018
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Monday a pay hike of P25 for Metro Manila minimum wage earners as decided by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board - National Capital Region.
In a press conference, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III confirmed what had been said by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) last week.
“Last October 30, the NCR wage board approved a P25 wage increase and the integration of the existing P10 COLA (Cost of Living Allowance),” said Bello.
This, he explained, would mean the minimum wage rate in the NCR would be P537 from the present P512.
Bello said the new wage order is expected to take effect 15 days after the publication of the decision in a newspaper of general circulation.
National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) executive director Criselda Sy said:“We balanced the need of workers with the capacity of enterprises to pay additional labor cost without impairing business capacity to generate jobs.”
She added any amount higher than what the NCR wage board has approved could worsen inflation.
“It is a potential source of inflationary effect. We may even go beyond 6.7 percent inflation if we go higher,” said Sy.
She said the integration of COLA should not be overlooked as this will have a positive effect on the overall pay of workers.
“For example, if they have overtime pay, the computation will be bigger. Their take home pay will increase,” said the labor official.
Labor groups condemned the wage hike.
Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the P25 pay hike will have no impact.
“We are looking at December or January for another wage petition, citing supervening conditions because we believe that prices will continue increasing,” said Tanjusay.
Partido Manggagawa (PM) agreed the P25 cannot compensate for “runaway” inflation in Metro Manila.
“The P25 is short by 30 percent to make up for the P35.84 erosion in wages due to the 7 percent inflation in the NCR recorded in August this year,” said PM chairman Rene Magtubo. DMS
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