MALACAÑANG said the reported P25 minimum wage increase for Metro Manila is not yet official and remains under review, after labor and employer representatives claimed knowledge of information contained in the National Capital Region (NCR) wage order ahead of its release.
In a statement on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said that National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has yet to review the wage order drafted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board for the NCR after the wage board completed its deliberations on Tuesday.
“As of today, Oct. 31, the reported P25 wage hike for minimum wage workers has yet to be approved by the National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC). Therefore, the figure being disseminated is not official,” Mr. Panelo said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), the RTWPB-NCR, and the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) have not confirmed that the wage order will call for a P25 wage hike.
On Tuesday, Employees Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) Acting President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. told GMA News that the RTWPB-NCR approved a minimum-wage increase of P25.
In a phone interview with BusinessWorld, Mr. Ortiz-Luis said that information on the NCR wage board’s decision was relayed to him by the employers’ representatives of the RTWPB-NCR.
“I was just told by our representative in the wage board that they have already made a decision,” Mr. Ortiz-Luis said.
When asked if this was a reasonable amount for employers, Mr. Ortiz-Luis reiterated, “We will respect what the board decides.”
On the other hand, Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Spokesperson Alan A. Tanjusay said in a briefing on Wednesday that the NCR-Wage Board failed to recognize the needs of minimum wage earners in the region.
“The board failed its mandate to balance labor and capital,” he said.
The labor coalition estimates that a P335.07 wage hike is needed for workers to earn a living wage, challenged ECoP to release a computation showing how workers can survive with a P25 wage increase.
Anakpawis partylist Representative Ariel Casilao said in a statement on Wednesday that a P25 increase is not enough to offset rising inflation.
The Anakpawis representative also said that in 2015, NCR establishments had a combined profit of P903 billion pesos while still paying their workers an average of P530.
“Raising the minimum wage in NCR to P750 will cost P133 Billion which is just 14.6% of their profits,” he said.
DoLE said in an advisory on Wednesday that it will announce the new NCR wage order on Monday, laying out the extent of the wage increase beyond the current P512. — Gillian M. Cortez