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Wage hike order out by next week
« on: May 07, 2008, 07:31:55 PM »
   
Metro Manila workers will finally get their much awaited salary increase next week.

    A ranking labor official yesterday reported that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Metro Manila is expected to come out with a new wage order by May 15.

    “All the wage boards are already conducting the public hearings and deliberations and at least the wage board in the National Capital Region (NCR) is expected to render a decision by May 15,” said an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) who requested anonymity.

    Acting Labor Secretary Marianito Roque noted that the wage boards are fast-tracking the procedures on wage fixing but he declined to reveal the date when the wage boards are coming out with their decisions.

    “Everything is moving and they’re moving fast,” Roque said in an interview.

    He said the wage boards are exerting all effort to grant salary increases at the soonest possible time to help workers cope with the rising cost of essential commodities.

    Roque also expressed confidence that the wage boards would be able to come up with decisions that are beneficial to both workers and employers.

    “It would be very difficult, but they (employers and workers) have to agree somewhere in the middle,” Roque pointed out.

    Earlier, employers warned against granting excessive salary increases while the workers cautioned against measly adjustments.

    However, Roque said that even with a minimal wage increase, workers would be experiencing economic relief with the impending passage of a law exempting minimum wage earners from paying taxes.

    “DOLE is pushing for the tax exemption law because it would provide between P32 to P38 increase in daily pay and that’s already substantial even with minimal salary adjustments,” he said.

    He added that DOLE is also working with employers nationwide to provide their workers with other non-wage benefits such as free transportation and day care centers.

 â€œSo far, employers are positively responding to our appeal to provide their workers with additional non-wage benefits,” Roque said.

 Meanwhile, DOLE reported that a majority of commercial establishments nationwide are giving social protection to their workers.

 Data from DOLE’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) showed that vital compulsory social protection and benefits to workers, like SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig, were provided by almost all of the 25,349 establishments in the non-agricultural sector nationwide.

    “Results of the survey demonstrate that the country’s establishments are keeping pace with the government’s mandates for the comprehensive social protection of workers, by taking efforts to comply with and pursue such relevant compensation schemes necessary for the welfare and well-being of the nation’s workforce,” Roque said.(Phil. News Online)

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