No wage hike yet for Metro Manila workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2012 11:00 AM | Updated as of May 01 2012 05:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines – There will be no wage increase announcement for private sector workers in Metro Manila in time for tomorrow’s Labor Day celebrations, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Monday.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said this is because the one-year ban on increasing wages has yet to end.

The last wage order for the National Capital Region (NCR) was on May 26, 2011.

Under present rules, wages may not be increased within 12 months after the last hike unless there are "supervening conditions" that may warrant salary adjustment.

But Baldoz said public consultations will be held by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board for NCR ahead of the May 26 deadline to fast-track the release of the decision on the wage increase.

“Ginagawa lang nila eh para mapa-iksi ang public hearing eh may advance public consultation sila. Sa regional level, iyung kanilang wage order ay umaakyat sa National Wages and Productivity Commission for confirmation,” Baldoz told dzMM.

Salary hike for gov’t workers

President Aquino on Sunday, meanwhile, hinted on the possible wage increase for government workers with the implementation of the next tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

"Surprise ko sana sa May 1, especially for government workers, and substantial number of zeros,” he said.

“Yung question na lang dito is kung kakayanin bang i-advance 'yung next tranche, which is the fourth tranche, of the increase. So makukumpleto na po 'yung SSL 3 perhaps one month earlier than originally planned, 'yung implementation."

The set of benefits, whether monetary or not, is being monitored by labor groups. They have decried the dwindling power of the peso.

Around 30,000 employees from various sectors are expected to join the protest to be held on May 1, Labor Day.

Spearheaded by Kilusang Mayo Uno, the group said the protest will center on the theme “Araw ng Paniningil at Paglaban.”

Baldoz said Aquino is expected to attend a meeting of government officials and members of the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council tomorrow (May 1).

“Yes, there's a dialogue. That's... I think it's the very first activity. I'll be preparing actually for the dialogue. Last week we prepared, but by Monday, tomorrow, we're fine-tuning 'yung questions and answers and 'yung mga recommendations nila, 'yung research and studies na ginawa doon sa recommendations. We'll have the nuts and bolts by tomorrow,” Aquino said.

Job fairs

Baldoz said about 100,000 jobs will be offered tomorrow in 44 job fair venues around the country. The main job fair venue will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

She said government agencies will be available to provide applicants with clearance documents; birth and marriage certificates; social, medical and shelter security memberships; professional licenses; and income tax documents.

“These employment facilitation services, such as application support documents, are essential to getting a job," Baldoz said, in a statement.

"The 2012 Labor Day celebration is anchored on the theme, “Pagtutulungan. Pagbabago. Disenteng Trabaho.” which clearly identifies the DOLE's effort to a wholistic, inclusive commemoration focused on facilitating workers' and employers' search for jobs and skills, and subsequently, of developing the country’s top resource towards achieving decent jobs that could contribute to inclusive economic growth,” she added.