DOLE: P35 pay hike not meant to insult workers

DOLE: P35 pay hike not meant to insult workers

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:25 AM July 03, 2024

DOLE: P35 pay hike not meant to insult workers

Inquirer photo/Richard A. Reyes

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila regional wage board considered all criteria under the law in approving the P35-minimum wage hike for workers, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma stressed on Tuesday.

“The [wage] board and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) do not intend to insult anybody; our mandate is to determine the proper amount of increase [that] may be granted [with regard to] the prevailing minimum wage,” he said in an interview over radio station dzBB.


READ: P35 wage hike approved; labor groups furious


He added that the new P645 minimum wage for nonagriculture workers in the National Capital Region (NCR), which takes effect on July 17, was a mere “floor or entry-level” salary.

The minimum wage is also for first-time or new workers who have only basic skills and lack experience, he pointed out.

Extra skills a plus

“Minimum wage is a social protection floor, which means, if you have no experience, no skills, you should receive the minimum wage and not below the amount,” he said.

Laguesma pointed out that workers with high grades in school or extra skills and experience could negotiate a salary higher than P645 with their current or prospective employers. This is the reason the government is focusing on making Filipino workers more competitive while creating more jobs.

“Our direction really is to add skills and knowledge [in] our workers … so that minimum wage will no longer be [an issue as] workers will have the freedom and right to negotiate with their employer for proper wages and benefits,” he said.

Labor groups earlier criticized the P35 minimum wage increase announced on Monday by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productive Board in NCR.


They complained that the amount could not even buy a kilo of regular milled rice, which ranges from P47 to P51 in major Metro Manila markets as of July 2, according to the agriculture department’s price watch monitoring.

For militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, the “measly” increase proves that calls for the abolition of all regional wage boards are justified.

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TAGS: Bienvenido Laguesma, DOLE, Wage Board

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