The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has officially ordered the review of a proposal for a ₱125 across-the-board wage hike. It is hoped that the salary increase will be presented and approved by concerned legislative bodies.
A DOLE memorandum reads:
“You are hereby instructed to convene your respective Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to consult and generate consensus or comments on the anticipated filing of legislative measures proposing a PhP 125.00 across-the-board increase in the wages of workers in the private sector in the 17th Congress.”
The wage increase has been lobbied by various groups since the 13th Congress back in 2006. RTWPBs are legally responsible to determine and fix minimum wage rates and structures applicable for various regions.
In a press conference, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello II said:
“Kailangan mo kasing ireview kung magkano at saka sino [You need to review this and identify who will be affected], across the board ba o ano [or what], and you also have to consult the management kasi [because] they’ll be the most affected by any increase in wages.”
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod is optimistic that the proposal will be approved and put into law. He, a former Anakpawis representative, said that the workers deserve the hike in the first place.
“Talagang naghihirap yung mga manggagawa natin kasi yung sahod ng mga manggagawa ngayon, hindi sapat sa pangangailangan ng pamilya nila,” Maglunsod said. (“Our workers are really suffering because their earnings aren’t enough for the needs of their families.”)
Meanwhile, Donald Dee, President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), said that the hike is not timely and will discourage potential foreign investors.
“We should not start making people nervous by coming up with all kinds of other things which will complicate the environment,” Dee said in an interview with CNN Philippines. “You have to make sure that you have enough jobs to go around then wages will automatically go up because of market demand.”
Bello, on the other hand, hopes that a compromise will be found.
“It could be achieved, it could be lower than that but ang importante [what’s important] is that there will be an adjustment,” said Bello.
Watch also the video report from cnn: