DOLE office justifies approved ‘low wage increase’ by regional boards
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on Thursday defended the decision of regional wage boards amid criticisms of the “low wage increase” they approved.
In a Laging Handa public briefing, NWPC Executive Director Maria Criselda Sy explained that regional wage boards considered the capability of employers to pay workers when they issued the latest wage increase orders.
“Ating pong tandaan na hindi gobyerno ang nagbibigay ng umento. Hindi ho ito nanggagaling sa kaban ng bayan at ‘yun pong magbibigay ng umento na mga enterprises, lalong-lalo na po ‘yung mga micro-entrepreneurs, sila ho ay pinadapa rin po ng pandemya,” Sy pointed out.
(Let us remember that it is not the government who gives these wage increases. This is not from the government’s funds, and the enterprises that provide increases, especially micro-entrepreneurs, were also crippled by the pandemic.)
“Because of the pandemic that happened, ito ho ‘yung nakikita nating limitation ng policy na ‘to (we are seeing that this is the limitation of this policy),” she added.
Sy further said that the policy of increasing the minimum wage is just among the government’s support amid rising costs of commodities as the government also offers other assistance such as the free ride program and the fuel subsidy program to affected sectors.
“Ito naman pong minimum wage policy is just a support policy at marami naman pong mga programa na ini-implement ngayon ang ating pamahalaan para maibsan ‘yun pong paghihirap at kakulangan ng income ng ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po ‘yung nasa bottom 50 ng ating income bracket,” she stressed.
(This minimum wage policy is just a support policy and there are many programs implemented now to alleviate the challenges and lack of income of our fellow Filipinos, especially those belonging to the bottom 50 of our income bracket.)
The daily minimum wage in Metro Manila and Western Visayas has been raised by P33, and P55 to P110, respectively, the DOLE announced last week.
Meanwhile, provincial wage board of Ilocos, Cagayan, and Caraga have recently granted the following increase in minimum wage: Ilocos – P60 to 90; Cagayan Valley – P50 to P75; and Caraga – P45.