THE NATIONAL Capital Region’s (NCR) wage board could decide on petitions to raise the daily minimum pay of Metro Manila’s private sector workers soon after the three consultations this week, as the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) signaled in a hearing on Monday the need for an increase bigger than the P320 it sought in June.
NCR Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Board Chairperson Ana C. Dione told reporters after Monday’s consultation with labor groups: “We have to continue the consultation as scheduled; (October) 24 would be the employers and (October) 26 would be the public hearing.”
“That is the process and after that the board will go into deliberation,” Ms. Dione said.
“Under the rules on minimum wage, you have to have at least three (consultations)… You can have more, depende nga eh (but it depends).”
Alberto R. Quimpo, one of two employers’ representatives in Metro Manila’s wage board, told reporters: “You have to get a majority to come up with the decision on what is the amount” of warranted increase.
“We will deliberate right away,” he said, adding that a decision could be reached “[b]y Friday, maybe in the afternoon.”
“But it depends on the deliberation,” he added, saying that Friday deliberations could still end “with a stalemate.”
TUCP representatives explained during Monday’s consultations the need for an increase in daily minimum wage that is bigger than what the group had asked for in June. “Just after four months since TUCP filed its P320 wage increase petition, the value of the current P512 minimum wage in NCR has further eroded which now requires an additional P15.07 to the P320 wage increase,” TUCP said in its position paper on Monday, adding that an increase of “P335 is needed in NCR because the existing P512 daily minimum wage is not enough for a household with at least five members to live a decent life.”
Another group, the Association of Minimum Wage Earners and Advocates, is seeking an even bigger P688 increase in daily minimum wage for Metro Manila’s private sector workers.
Associated Labor Unions-TUCP Spokesman Alan A. Tanjusay on Sunday cited the worsening inflation as the reason for his group’s decision to hike its wage petition.
On Friday last week, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that inflation for the country’s bottom 30% income households surged to a multi-year-high eight percent in August — against a 6.4% headline inflation that month — with those in NCR experiencing 8.3%. — Gillian M. Cortez