The regional wage boards have the final say on whether or not to approve any petition seeking higher salaries, Malacañang said Tuesday following the labor groups’ petition for a bigger minimum wage increase in Metro Manila.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace would respect the decision of the wage board.
“You know, the wage board will determine whether or not there is a need for an increase,” Panelo said.
“The Palace will respect whatever the decision of the wage board is.”
On Sunday, Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines insisted on a P334 wage increase in Metro Manila despite possible objections from employers.
ALU-TUCP Spokesman Alan Tanjusay said he hoped their petition would be approved after the meetings with the National Capital Region Wage Board this week.
The ALU-TUCP petitioned for a P320 increase in June 2018, but then adjusted the amount to P334 as a result of the increase in the inflation rate.
Tanjusay said he expected representatives from small and big businesses to challenge their position paper for a wage increase.
“Historically, it has been repeatedly rejected, but we will insist on our petition,” Tanjusay said.
“If it is approved after the meetings, it will be published in newspapers and will be effective after 15 days.”
The minimum wage is P512 for every eight hours in Metro Manila, but the rates in provinces are much lower.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says the government and the regional tripartite wage boards are studying the wage increase and may decide on it soon.
“Hopefully, by the end of this month we can come up with a decision that will adjust the salary scale in Metro Manila because in other regions, there was already an adjustment in the wages,” Bello told ANC.
He said the wage board would take into account the recent inflation numbers in deciding on the wage hike petitions.
The inflation rate rose to 6.2 percent in the third quarter from 4.8 percent previously. The latest figure was driven mainly by rising food and oil prices.