DOLE chief orders review of minimum wage amid surging fuel prices
MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered the review of minimum wage across the country as oil prices continue to increase amid ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
All Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) have been directed to submit their recommendations by April.
“The skyrocketing prices of oil products caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine may be a compelling ground for the wage boards to recommend adjustments in the minimum wages of workers,” Bello said in a statement Wednesday.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), RTWPBs nationwide have been receiving petitions for minimum wage increases in their respective areas.
“Setting and adjusting the wage level is one of the most challenging parts of minimum wage fixing. Minimum wage cannot be very low as it will have very small effect in protecting workers and their families against poverty. If set too high, it will have an adverse employment effect. There should be a balance between two sets of considerations,” the DOLE chief also explained.
The consecutive and big oil price hikes are seen to cause increases in the costs of basic commodities and weaken the people’s purchasing power.
Oil companies on Tuesday implemented the biggest increase yet in the prices of petroleum products at P5.85 per liter of diesel, P3.60 per liter of gasoline, and P4.10 for kerosene.
Fuel prices may even go P100 per liter, according to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday, if costs in the world market persist.
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