Labor groups press demand for P90 across-the-board wage hike

May 17, 2012 10:27 pm 

MANILA, May 17 — Labor groups have reiterated their call for a P90 across-the-board wage increase in the National Capital Region (NCR), citing the recent spate of increases in costs of oil products and basic commodities.

In Thursday's public consultation of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Assistant Secretary-General Hernan Nicdao said a rise in cost of commodities, tuition and electricity can be considered as "supervening events" to warrant an acceptable wage increase.

"There is a rampant increase in the prices of oil, basic commodities, electricity. Ang problema dito, ang presyo ba ng kuryente bumababa?" Nicdao said.

He said the average wage increase that the NCR wage board had approved ranged from P15 to P20.

"This is not enough. It's not really acceptable," he said.

On March 16, the TUCP filed a petition to increase the minimum wage from P426 to P560.

RTWPB-NCR chairperson Alan Macaraya said there will be an increase but the amount is yet to be decided by the board.

"Critical yung amount dito eh, but I don't know yet how much because that's what we're going to discuss. Hopefully, we agree on the new wage order this afternoon kasi nga we're dealing with two sectors," he said.

The NCR wage board concluded on Thursday its final public consultation on wage hike, attended by labor groups, government officials and business sector.

Labor groups have been pressing the government for a wage increase even before the expiration of the current wage order on May 26.

However, the wage board said there is no supervening condition in Metro Manila that would warrant a wage increase before the expiration of the wage order.

Macaraya said the current wage order should not be altered for a period of 12 months from its effectivity unless there are extraordinary supervening conditions.

In a resolution issued by the RTWPB-NCR last March, it said the increases in prices of oil products and basic commodities cannot be considered as extraordinary.

"The increase in oil prices and basic commodities might be a factor but there are other considerations," Macaraya said.

He explained that the RTWPB determines any supervening condition and once this is done, the RTWPB can act and decide on a petition for a wage increase even before the one year prohibition. (PNA) DCT/scs/jmc/utb

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