MANILA, July 5 (PNA) -– The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) on Friday conducted the first public hearing/consultation this year regarding the pending petitions for minimum wage increase in NCR.
The wage board is reviewing their current wage orders, as instructed by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, to assess the socio-economic conditions in NCR, as their preceding wage order reached anniversary.
RTWPB-NCR Director Atty. Alan Macaraya led the consultation which was attended by a total of 102 labor, government, industry groups, academe and concerned citizens.
The hearing focused on the proposed P83 wage increase that was filed on June 7 by former Sen. Ernesto Herrera and the P85 wage increase petition by Raymond Democrito Mendoza earlier on April, both of which from the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).
According to the TUCP, there is a need to increase the minimum salary in Metro Manila, since the previous increase had been overtaken by the continuing increases in the prices of petroleum products, transport fares and basic goods and services.
Also, there is a pending petition for P5-10 increase on Metro Rail Transit fair, the source of transportation to 800,000 minimum wage earners in NCR; and a petition for a P5 rate increase in Manila Water and Maynilad.
On the other hand, some of the audiences think likewise, saying the P85 increase in minimum wage would be a burden, especially to small scale businesses and would lead them to bankruptcy.
An employee of a local garment company even said that although an increase in minimum wage is a good news, she would rather have the same salary, than to be on the verge of being unemployed in the future.
For the Filipino-Chinese businessmen, who were also present in the hearing, refused to comment on whether there is a need to increase in the minimum wage, saying it is too early to tell and they would wait for further discussions.
Other topics that were tackled on the consultation were: suggestion to make the companies shoulder government fees like SSS, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth; proper implementation of the minimum wage in NCR; and classifying businesses to set an appropriate minimum wage.
On the RTWPB's part, Macaraya said they will conduct more of public consultations to determine whether the proposed minimum wage increase is applicable.
He also lauded the attendees of the event, saying he is glad a lot of issues and suggestions were brought up and he expects that more of them will be undertaken on the next forum.
In line with this, the regional director invited the them to join the next public hearing on July 17 and August 8 which will both be held at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City. (Media Ng Bayan)