BACOLOD CITY, Philippines–The chair of the regional tripartite wages and productivity board of Western Visayas came under fire on Friday after he was quoted as saying workers in the region should not expect more than P10 in increase in daily pay because it was “traditional.”
Ponciano Ligutom, Western Visayas director of the Department of Labor and Employment and chair of the regional wage board, said wage increases in the region are traditionally lower than those in Metro Manila.
He, however, said that it was just his personal opinion and the amount of wage increase for the region would have to be determined by the regional tripartite wages and productivity board.
Wennie Sancho, labor representative at the wage board, said Ligutom’s statement was inappropriate.
“If that is what the regional director is saying, hearings are no longer necessary. He should just prepare a wage order and sign it,” Sancho said. “He should think before he speaks.”
Ligutom said he respects Sancho’s opinion.
The National Capital Region wage board last week approved a P10 increase in daily minimum wage for workers in Metro Manila.
In Western Visayas, a group allied with moderate Trade Union Congress of the Philippines has filed a petition for a P113.57 increase in daily minimum wages for commercial and industrial workers, P100.45 for workers in plantations of more than 24 hectares and P96.35 for workers in plantations of less than 24 hectares.
Ligutom said the wage board would hold one more public hearing before deciding on the wage petitions.