MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday dashed hopes of a possible increase in the take-home pay of minimum wage earners next year.
For the second straight year, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said workers nationwide are unlikely to get any salary hike.
“I don’t think there will be any wage increase because there is no economic basis,” Roque said.
He noted that all indicators for salary increases, including oil prices, remained low at this time.
Citing a report from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Roque said the increase in food prices at this time is only temporary.
“The increased price in cooking gas and other basic commodities according to NEDA is only holiday-related and would go down soon after the holiday season is over,” Roque pointed out.
Oil companies have even rolled back prices, which Roque said was among the factors being considered by wage boards in granting salary hikes.
The different Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) may also not undertake the annual wage review unless a formal petition for wage hike is filed by labor groups next year.
“Since there is no supervening event to warrant review, the wage boards are unlikely to conduct a wage review,” Roque added.
He said the only thing that could prompt the boards to grant a salary increase next year is extraordinary increase in prices of basic commodities.
Roque said the labor sector should look at the productivity in the country before seeking a wage increase.
The different wage boards last granted salary increases with the highest hike of P20 in Metro Manila in 2008. –Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star)