MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on Tuesday strongly urged regional wage boards to immediately review and eventually grant the salary petitions of workers.
The senator saw the need to increase the salaries of workers due to the rising prices of basic goods and services.
Estrada noted that no petition for wage increase may be entertained within the 12-month period from the effectivity of the wage order. In the case for the National Capital Region (NCR), a wage order was issued last June 3, 2012.
Estrada, nonetheless, argued that wage boards are not prohibited from reviewing the need to increase wages even before the lapse of the prescribed period.
Estrada, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resource Development, noted that the current P456 minimum daily wage is no longer enough for a worker in Metro Manila to pay the increasing power and water rates as well as health, transport, and education costs.
He said a salary adjustment would send a strong message to the world that our economic gains are starting to trickle down.
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“This would be one of the brightest spots in our economy—that our daily wage earners can keep pace with the rising cost of living,” Estrada said in a statement.
The senator earlier batted for a P125 across-the-board daily wage increase for all workers. He said his proposal addresses the plight of the working class by bringing them closer to the State’s assurance of a decent wage.
Estrada has filed a bill, where he noted how the labor sector criticized the Regional Boards for their delayed action on petitions for minimum wage increase.
This prompts the labor sector to demand Congress to revert to the old system of legislated wage increases.
The senator also recommended that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) inspect the payroll and other financial records kept by a company or business to determine whether the workers are paid the prescribed across-the-board wage increase and other benefits granted by law. –Christina Mendez (philstar.com)