MANILA, Philippines—Labor groups have expressed dismay after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) rejected the petition for a P100 emergency wage hike.
The Wage Board released a resolution stating that it cannot take any action on the said petition because the matter is not within its jurisdiction.
“The said resolution cited a 2007 Supreme Court ruling stating that it is beyond the Board’s scope to grant an across-the-board wage increase,” the labor group, Defend Jobs Philippines, said.
Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, Christian Lloyd Magsoy said the group is skeptical of the Board’s statement.
“Skeptical kami sa statement nila na iyon dahil nga ang dami nang nangyari, ang dami nang naganap pero iyong mandate nila na every year dapat pag-aralan kung magtataas ba ng sahod ang mga manggagawa ay wala namang naganap na pagtaas ng sahod ng mga manggagawa (We are skeptical of their statement because a lot has already happened but their mandate for a yearly review on whether a wage increase is necessary, no wage hike has been implemented),” he said.
Magsoy also said a pay hike is needed especially with the increasing prices of commodities triggered by pandemic. He added that increasing wages would contribute to economic recovery.
“Saan ba gagamitin ang P100 sa mga manggagawa kundi pambili rin ng mga pangangailangan nila na eventually makakatulong din sa mga maliliit na businesses natin (Where else will the workers use the P100 increase but to buy essential goods which will eventually help our small businesses),” he said.
For Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), the P1,000 financial assistance provided by the government is not enough to sustain the needs of citizens affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Ang P1,000 halaga ng ayuda na ibibigay gobyerno ay hindi din sapat sa ilang araw na walang trabaho at income, (The P1,000 aid provided by the government is not enough for those without jobs and income),” according to Alan Tanjusay of the ALU-TUCP.
Tanjusay also said the government should begin its preparation for additional aid and more Kadiwa & Diskwento caravans.
Meanwhile, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has not received the resolution of the RTWPB-NCR so there is still no final decision on the matter.
“Ayaw ko na ngang pangunahan sila kasi eventually kung anuman ang rekomendasyon nila ay dadaan sa akin for final approval (I do not want to get ahead because eventually, whatever their recommendation is, it will still go through me for final approval),” Bello said in a phone interview. AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)