The Department of Labor and Employment today said that the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPB) in Eastern and Western Visayas and Zamboanga are reviewing the petitions for increases in the minimum wage in their area.
Regional Board IX in Zamboanga was the latest to receive the petition from the Philippine Integrated Industries Labor Union (PIILU) for a P50 across the board wage increase.
In Region VII (Western Visayas), 10 labor unions petitioned for a P128.60 increase in the minimum wage. The petitioners were Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Shemberg Employees Independent Union (SEIU-NUWHRAIN-APL), Employees Association of Robinsons Supermarket (EARS), Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa LBF Hardware (NAMA-LBF), Kan-Irag Employees Labor Organization (KELO), Bank of the Phil. Islands Cebu Employees Independent Union (BPI-CEIU), Grand Majestic Convention Center Employees Union (GMCC-EU), Lonbisco Employees Organization (LEO), NUWHRAIN-Montebello Chapter and PIALO, Inc.
Regional Board VI (Eastern Visayas), on the other hand, received a petition from the Trade Union of Filipino Workers (TUFW) for a P50 daily wage increase.
The wage hike petitions cited the need to help workers cope with the rising cost of living and to recoup their purchasing power which eroded due to spiraling cost of oil, rice and other basic commodities.
Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that the RTWPBs are regularly assessing the socio-economic situation to come up with the best possible options that will benefit both the worker and employer sectors.
“The Regional Wage Boards are continually performing the delicate and difficult task of balancing the interests of workers and employers. The Boards have constantly uphold the mandate of providing a decent standard of living for workers and ensuring the survival and viability of businesses, more so, of micro, small and medium enterprises,” said Roque.
NWPC Executive Director Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III also explained that in setting the minimum wage, the Regional Wage Boards take into consideration various socio-economic indicators to ensure a fair and reasonable wage adjustment. The criteria include needs of workers and their families, employer’s capacity to pay, and other critical indicators such as gross domestic product, employment/unemployment, inflation and price movements. Neglecting any of these factors may result in negative implications to the country’s economy.
The determination of minimum wages by the Regional Boards began in 1989 with the passage of R.A 6727. Prior to this, it was Congress that sets minimum wages. It enacted the last minimum wage law in 1989 which provided for a national daily minimum wage increase from P64.00 to P89.00
In the NCR, the minimum wage was adjusted 16 times since 1989, the increases ranging from a low of P12.00 to a high of P26.50. The current daily minimum wage compensation in NCR is P382 after the increase of P20.00 per day was granted by the Regional Board on June 14, 2008.