Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) are monitoring the factors that drive inflation and will study if there is a need for another wage increase due to the continuing rise in the cost of basic commodities, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said.
Laguesma made the remarks after Partido Manggagawa demanded a P100 across-the-board wage increase citing the 14-year high inflation recorded in the past months.
However, Laguesma explained that “based on the existing law, there should only be one wage adjustment in a year.”
He said the RTWPBs just approved an increase in the minimum wage in several regions earlier this year, and these wage orders have only been effective for the past five months.
As a general rule, any wage order issued by the regional wage boards may not be disturbed for a period of 12 months from its effectivity, with no wage petitions to be entertained within the period.
The wage boards, however, may exercise their wage fixing function even before the expiration of the period upon the determination of “supervening conditions.”
“The recent wage increases come in tranches,” Laguesma said in an interview over GMA News’ Unang Balita.
The RTWPB for the National Capital Region (NCR) approved the minimum wage increase by P33, while those in Western Visayas were adjusted by up to P110.
The RTWPBs of other regions like Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Caraga had also approved increases in the minimum wages of workers in their respective jurisdictions.
The Labor chief admitted that the minimum wage of workers has drastically eroded as a result of the continuous rise in prices.
However, Laguesma said there is a need to balance the situation such the capacity of employers to raise another wage hike.