No supervening condition for new wage hike: wage board

Published by rudy Date posted on April 28, 2011

DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (Dole) Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom said there is no “supervening condition” for a new wage hike in the region.

Ligutom, who sits as chairman of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), however, said they are continuously monitoring and conducting assessment to determine there is a need for a new wage hike.

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Ligutom said his office has met with the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to determine the need for a new wage increase.

Ligutom also mentioned that the labor sector in the region has not yet filed any petition for a wage hike. “The Board (RTWPB) will only act based on the petition from the labor sector,” he said.

The current daily wage is P255 for non-agricultural businesses; agricultural sector, P230; retail and service establishments employing not more than 30 workers, P235; and, cottage and handicraft workers, P210. The rates are based on a wage order that took effect on September 9, 2010.

Jose Suan, the president of Philippine Integrated Industries Labor Union (PIILU), confirmed they have not yet filed petition for a wage hike citing “the inflation rate of the region could not be justified as supervening condition.”

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said the inflation rate of the region as of March this year is 5.5 percent, which Suan said still low.

“We need to have a 7.5 percent inflation rate for us to file a petition for a wage hike,” added Suan, who is also the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) vice-president.

Workers from National Capital Region (NCR), Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Western Mindanao have already filed a petition for a new wage hike.

Ligutom and Suan as well as the industrial group representative at the RTWPB share the same views that they have to study its effect on all sectors if there would be a new wage hike in the region.

“There should be a balance. We cannot just push the wages up while we push the business away,” said Engr. George Ledesma, industrial group sector representative.

“There are so many issues and concerns to balance out,” Ledesma added. –Bong Garcia, Sun Star

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