No wage hike in 2009 – DOLE

Published by rudy Date posted on December 29, 2008

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday ruled out the possibility of an increase in minimum wage rates next year.

“I won’t bet on it,” Labor Secretary Marianito Roque replied when asked about the chances of having wage adjustments in 2009.

But Roque stressed that all the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) nationwide will conduct their annual wage review.

“The boards will be undertaking the regular review, but at this time I don’t see any factors for the boards to consider a salary hike,” Roque said.

He noted that all indicators for salary increases, including oil prices, remain low at this time.

“Prices of fuel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) are down. Even the central bank has reduced interest rates. So what could be the factor for granting a salary hike?” Roque pointed out.

He said the only thing that could prompt the boards to grant a pay hike next year is extraordinary increase in prices of basic commodities.

In 2008, different wage boards granted salary increases with the highest hike of P20 in Metro Manila.

However, some 8,000 workers from Metro Manila are not getting any increase in their daily take home pay next year since their employers have sought an exemption from salary hike.

Meanwhile, the local recruitment industry yesterday reported that at least 10,000 jobs await Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom.

Recruitment officials said United Kingdom would need 10,000 nurses until 2010 due to the country’s aging population.

“The healthcare sector in UK is mainly funded by taxpayer’s money and is managed by the National Health Service (NHS) which is the largest employer in the UK,” a recruitment official noted.

The official added that the healthcare industry in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and other European countries is not affected by the global financial crisis.

The official noted that nurses could boost their chances to be permanent residents of UK if they pursue further nursing studies. They can likewise apply this in other Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia.

“Thousands of Filipino nurses can fill up the gap in the nursing shortage in the UK by entering the country as student nurses and at the same time expand their knowledge and experience in British schools,” the official pointed out.

Hundreds of Filipina nurses are now in UK under a study and work placement scheme pioneered by a UK consultancy firm.

Under the program, nurses are allowed to take up university courses in BSc (hons) Social, Health Care and International Nursing.

Since last year, over 600 Filipino healthcare professionals have left the country to enroll in renowned UK schools like the Anglia Ruskin and Hertfordshire Universities for additional nursing degrees.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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