THE Department of Finance (DoF) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday turned down the proposal to institutionalize uniform wage across regions since it will worsen inequality.

“As I mentioned earlier, the DoF will still submit our official position on the proposed measure,” DoF Legislative Liaison Specialist Jeanne S. Guinto said in a livestreamed hearing of the House Committee on Labor and Employment. “We just (want) to initially manifest that we pose an objection to the proposed measures as this may cause high inflation on top of the ongoing fuel crisis.

“We also have concerns on some of the provisions of the bill like aligning the minimum wage of those in the provinces with that in the city. We think that it may not be an effective measure as the cost of living in the provinces is different from that of the city,” she added. 

NEDA Director Reynaldo R. Cancio said the economic planning agency supports raising wages but opposes a uniform national minimum wage, which it said will drive away businesses.

“We share the objective of raising the living standards for workers and their families, but we are unable to support proposals to have a uniform minimum wage across regions as this erode the ability of other regions to attract industries and enterprises and worsen the inequality across regions,” Mr. Cancio said.

He also expressed support for maintaining the tripartite wage mechanism to set each region’s minimum wage. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan