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New round of regional wage increases looms

A NEW round of regional wage increases looms following the Labor Day directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for a review of the regional minimum wage rates within 60 days from the date of the most recent wage order in the concerned region.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said on Thursday a resolution has been issued through the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) directing all 16 Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to review minimum wages.

Laguesma said the National Capital Region (NCR) wage board has scheduled a public consultation for the next wage hike.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO

The consultation with the labor sector will be on May 23 and with the employer sector on June 4.

The public hearing is expected to be held on June 20.

The wage board will then «decide on the propriety of adjusting the minimum wage for the region,» Laguesma said.


Other regions have been directed to set their schedule of consultations and hearings.

The last round of wage hikes took effect between July last year in the NCR and February this year in the Davao Region.

No wage increase petition may be entertained during the one-year period, except when there is a supervening condition, such as an extraordinary increase in prices of oil products and basic goods and services.

Labor groups have lashed out at Laguesma for agreeing with employers and big business that setting the minimum wage is better left to wage boards than Congress.


The Senate has approved a P100 legislated pay hike, while the House of Representatives has yet to approve at the committee level its version of a P150 wage rise.

Laguesma said that under the current system, Congress delegates the power to adjust minimum wages at the regional level to the RTWPBs with the participation of representatives of workers and employers.

The process, he said, is under the supervision of the NWPC, which is an agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

Laguesma said the DoLE «defers to the primary authority and wisdom of Congress to enact, amend or repeal any law. Should Congress decide to amend or repeal Republic Act