Wage boards abolition proposed

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Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III.

Stressing that there is a need to standardize salaries across all areas in the country, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) on Monday renewed its call to President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish wage boards and instead form a single body that will study and implement a uniform rate nationwide.

This, after Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier admitted the P25 increase approved last November for workers in Metro Manila is not enough to help minimum wage earners cope with the high-cost of living in the city.

TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said Bello’s admission is proof that there is an immediate need for the Chief Executive to begin steps in standardizing rates.

Mendoza said President Duterte should disassemble the current wage structure as the existing one does not balance the interest of the labor sector and capitalists.

“The wage board is key in achieving equality and social justice for workers. Its mandate is to ensure that our economic growth also benefits the workers,” he said.

“However, our economy is growing and business enterprises have been prospering but the workers who helped built that wealth remains impoverished,” he added.

The 17 regional wage boards, also called the Wage Rationalization Act, were created in 1989 through Republic Act 6727 and is mandated to set a minimum wage that protects workers’ rights and welfare to promote enterprise and workers’ productivity.

However, due to modern times, according to Mendoza, there is not much difference anymore in the prices of basic commodities and services in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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