MANILA – Militant groups held a rally at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in QC where the Regional Tripartite Wage Board held its third and final public consultation on petitions to raise the minimum daily wage.
The RTWB for the National Capital Region has 30 days to decide on the issue.
The two factions of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) filed separate petitions.
The group of Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza asked for an P85 daily minimum wage hike, while that of former Senator Ernesto F. Herrera petitioned for an P83 increase.
The current minimum wage in NCR is P456 per day.
Workers belonging to the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno, on the other hand, are pushing for a P125 legislated wage increase and the abolition of wage boards.
KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog alleged that employers are using the wage board to continue exploiting workers.
KMU cited Ibon foundation's May 2013 study showing that the legislation of P125 across the board wage hike nationwide will only result in a 15 percent reduction in the profits of companies in the country.
Atty. Alberto Quimpo, corporate secretary of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), warned that increasing the minimum wage would result in mass layoffs and closure of companies.
The ECOP filed a petition urging the wage boards to dismiss TUCP's petition for wage increase.
Alex Avila, chairman of the Regional Wage Board and Regional Director of DOLE-NCR, said several factors will have to be taken into consideration in approving a wage hike.
These include the inflation and unemployment rates (as presented by NEDA during the hearing), oil price adjustments, rising electricity rates, etc.
He said the wage board will have to do a balancing act in weighing the consequences of whatever decision they will make, not just on the labor and employer sectors, but on the country as a whole.