Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada strongly urged regional wage boards to immediately review and eventually grant the salary petitions of workers as prices of basic goods and services have already risen since the last wage hike was implemented last year.
Sen. Estrada notes 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, argues that the wage boards are not prohibited from reviewing the need and validation to increase wages before the prescribed period so as to immediately ameliorate compensation upon lapse of the same.
Estrada, who is 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 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. “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.
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.
In filing the bill, Estrada said “the labor sector has often criticized the Regional Boards for their delayed reaction to the conditions of their respective regions, and their slow action on petitions for minimum wage increase, so much so that the labor sector is now demanding that Congress reverts back 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.