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P25 wage hike for Metro workers approved



THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLe) announced yesterday that the Regional Tri­partite Productivity and Wages Board-National Capital Region (RTPWB-NCR) has approved a P25 pay increase for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila.

“Last October 30, the National Capital Region approved a P25 basic wage increase and integra­tion of its existing P10 COLA. Upon effectivity of the Wage Order No. NCR-22, the new minimum wage rates in Metro Manila shall be P500 to P537 across different sectors,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said in a press briefing.

He explained that the boards are tripartite in composition be­cause in deciding a minimum wage adjustment, it has to bal­ance the needs of workers and their families with the capacity of enterprises to pay the additional labor costs without impairing business, especially its capacity to continuously generate jobs.

The new wage order will take effect 15 days from its publication in a newspaper of general circula­tion.

As of end of October, 16 of 17 Regional Boards have issued new wage orders granting increases in the current minimum wage rates raging from P9 to P57.

Malacanang, however, clarified that the P25-increase in the mini­mum wage of Metro Manila private workers is still “subject to change” depending on the economic situ­ation.

But for now, Presidential Spokes­man Salvador Panelo acknowl­edged that the latest wage adjust­ment approved by the wage board was “enough” to help workers in the NCR.

“There has been deliberation on wage board and apparently that’s the decision so let’s see,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing when asked if the minimum wage hike was fair.

When asked if the wage increase was enough for workers cope with rising prices, Panelo said: “Perhaps presently that’s what they found out that’s enough. But I guess it’s always subject to change depend­ing on the economic conditions.”

Earlier, the Palace said the in­terests of the labor sector and employers would be taken into consideration during the delibera­tion on the wage hike petition.

“The Palace assures everyone that the interests and well-being of both sides, management and labor, as well as the overall impact to our domestic economy, would be considered by the government in attending to this matter,” he added.

Labor groups have pressed for a P335-increase in the daily mini­mum wage of private workers in Metro Manila to help them cope with rising consumer prices. Em­ployers however have reportedly warned that such huge wage hike proposal might hit businesses and scare away investors. (Leslie Ann Aquino and Genalyn Kabiling)