NCR wage hike ‘very reasonable’

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Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday said that a “very reasonable” computation for a minimum wage hike in Metro Manila had been reached following hearings by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

While he did not elaborate on the figure reached, Bello said on radio that the Metro Manila wage board had taken into consideration the side of the employers and the employed, as well as the inflation rate in the country.

“Taking the inflation rate into consideration, I was shown the computation, and the evaluation appeared very reasonable,” said Bello.

The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) petitioned the wage board for an increase of at least P334 to the P512 minimum wage prevailing in the national capital region.

Bello says inflation was considered in computation.

Bello said the ALU-TUCP proposal was not workable.

“It may not be sustainable. That’s what our economic advisers are saying. It may result in unemployment,” Bello said.

Alan Tanjusay, spokeman of the ALU-TUCP, said the employers group withdrew their P20 counteroffer. He said they will press for the P334/day increase.

“The wage board will meet again on Tuesday and a decision is expected to be formalized in time for the Christmas holidays,” said Tanjusay.

“It’s a trick or treat situation for labor. Hopefully, it will not be a trick,” he added.

Malacañang earlier expressed hope the NWPC will approve a salary increase acceptable to both workers and employers.

“The NWPC is now conducting public hearings between employer groups and workers and we hope a decision, which is acceptable to both parties, would be made soon,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“The government is doing its best to tame inflation, adding the price of rice has started to go down,” Panelo claimed.

Labor groups to insist on P334/day increase.

Employers earlier warned that a very high minimum wage increase may have adverse effects on them as they are also hit by the rising inflation.

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