P125 wage hike demand junked

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 14 2014 09:11 AM | Updated as of Apr 14 2014 05:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has dismissed demands for a P125 across-the-board wage increase.

NWPC executive director Criselda Sy said it is impossible for the government to grant the demand of labor groups for a wage increase.

She explained that the mandate of the NWPC and wage boards is to set policies on minimum wage, not to grant across-the-board wage increase.

She also noted that granting an across-the-board wage increase would be bad for the economy and lead to massive displacement of workers nationwide.

“What will happen based on the estimate done in 2012, granting a P125 across-the-board wage increase will increase labor cost of employers by more than P150 per employee,” she said. “There are 15.7 million wage and salaried workers nationwide and that would amount to more than P7 billion in a year.”

“The inflation rate target of Central Bank is only three to five percent, but with across-the-board wage increase it could go up to as high as 12 percent,” she added.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno is pushing for the government to grant the P125 across-the-board wage increase.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the wage boards have not received a petition for wage hike, and they could not entertain any petition at this time because of the one-year prohibition in the granting of successive salary hike for minimum wage earners.

But she said President Aquino and his Cabinet members would meet this week to discuss the package of possible Labor Day gifts for workers.