Palace considers wage hike by July

Published by rudy Date posted on April 2, 2011

THE government is studying granting a wage increase before July, presidential spokesman Ramon Carandang said Friday.

The government will implement a fuel subsidy for public transport in two to three weeks, he said, but scrapping the value-added tax on oil is not an option.

The workers’ group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines petitioned for a 75-peso increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila on March 7, saying workers needed the adjustment as a result of increasing oil and food prices.

The petition is pending as the wage board is still deciding if a “supervening factor,” like an unusually large increase in the prices of basic commodities, justifies it.

Meanwhile, the central bank said Friday it might review its policy rates if the inflation outlook “becomes more unfavorable,” and if the government approved an increase of more than P25 in the minimum daily wage.

While the central bank allows the peso to help ease inflation pressures, the nation’s main policy tool remains the overnight borrowing rate, according to Deputy Govenor Diwa Guinigundo. The remittances from overseas had been boosting the peso, and “that helps us manage inflation,” he said. Bloomberg

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