TUCP appeals to wage boards to grant across-the-board increases

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today appealed to the regional wages and productivity boards (RTWPBs) to refrain from the usual practice of granting exemptions and grant across-the-board increases to enable more workers benefit from wage orders.

The TUCP is anticipating the wage boards to comply with the order of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for them to come up with wage orders in 30 days. The President issued the directive on the occasion of Labor Day on May 1.

TUCP, however, pointed out that not all workers are benefited by wage orders since RTWPBs orders only cover those receiving minimum wages. Those who earn more are only given percentages of the wage adjustments.

TUCP disclosed that numerous companies, particularly those in the export processing zones, apply for exemptions from the application of wage orders. TUCP also pointed out that establishments covered by the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law and those employing less than 10 are not covered by the minimum law.

TUCP also noted that some RTWPBs particularly those in Region IV and III issue confusing wage orders that tend come up with different wage adjustments on a per area basis. TUCP cited that in the last wage order in Region IV were there were different wage rate hikes for the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Batangas.

Region IV RTWPB also has ordered a sub-minimum wage outside of the minimum wage.

“This is one of the big reasons why workers are disillusioned with RTWPBS. They do not feel benefited by the wage orders granted by the boards since it only applies to those earning the minimum”, TUCP said.

“Adjustment in wages should be uniform since everyone, regardless of pay rates, are subject to the same amount of prices and price hikes”, TUCP added.

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