Metro Manila wage board junks TUCP petition for P470 hike

By: Daphne Galvez - Inquirer.net | April 05,2022 - 07:39 AM
The TUCP office. STORY: Metro Manila wage board junks TUCP’s petition for a P470 hike

The office of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity (RTWPB) has junked the petition of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) for a 470-peso hike in Metro Manila to increase the minimum daily wage from the current P537 to P1,007.

In a resolution dated March 22, the Metro Manila wage board reasoned that the TUCP’s petition was not covered by its jurisdiction.

The group reasoned that the current daily minimum wage “can only accord workers and their families nutritionally deficient survival meals.”

It also said that the P3,874 taken from the P12,843.48 monthly income was “sorely inadequate” to cover expenses for health, transportation and communication, and education, among others.

However, the Metro Manila wage board said that the grant of an across-the-board minimum wage hike “does not fall within the jurisdiction of the board,” citing the Employers Confederation of the Philippines’ (ECOP) contention against the hike.

“After due deliberation, the Board agrees with the contention of the ECOP that the prayer for wage increase is a matter that lies beyond the jurisdiction of the Board,” the resolution read.

The RTWPB-NCR cited a Supreme Court ruling saying that its mandate is limited only to minimum wage fixing and determination in the region.

The TUCP expressed outrage at the dismissal calling it “grossly unfair” since the RTWPB “chose to ignore the arguments and computations which are all about a minimum wage increase.”

TUCP President Raymond Mendoza said that the RTWPB, while it could not grant an across-the-board wage increase, has jurisdiction over providing an increase in the minimum wage.

“It should have decided based on the arguments and computations that we submitted which are focused on a minimum wage increase rather than dismissing it,” Mendoza said in a statement.

The TUCP said it would either file a motion for reconsideration or refile its wage petition.

“The NCR-RTWPB of all places, are contemptuously setting aside our wage petition which is a matter of survival for millions of minimum wage earners and their families in Metro Manila. The wage board’s total insensitivity to the plight of our poor workers and their families is appalling,” Mendoza said.

“Workers and their families cannot depend on the RTWPBs to provide even a small economic relief for their survival, much less for living wages. Perhaps it is about time to review our existing legislation that paved the way for the regionalization of minimum wages and the creation of the wage boards. Our institutions are created to serve the interest and welfare of our people, most especially those who are poor and marginalized. If they no longer serve their purpose, maybe we need to seriously rethink their existence,” he added.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, Metro Manila, minimum wage, RTWPB, TUCP, wage hike, wage petition

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