A wage increase beyond the P10 granted to workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) could lead to businesses closing and job losses, Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Saturday.
Last Friday the Department of Labor and Employment announced a P10 pay hike for Metro Manila workers effective in January.
The P10 hike will bring the daily minimum wage to a range of P429 to P466.
“We could imagine if we grant a huge wage increase, the employers could close down their business because they can’t pay their workers’ wages anymore. It is always a delicate balance that has to be considered,” Valte said in a radio interview.
“Our Wage Board is thinking not only of what the workers want, which is to have more earnings to take home to their families, but also of the capacity of the employers to pay their workers,” she added.
Valte assured that the increase was decided through comprehensive consultations way back in May.
The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed the P10 wage hike as a “cruel Napoles joke” inflicted on the workers.
Janet Napoles is the alleged brains behind the P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scandal.
“While the people’s attention is focused on the billion peso pork barrel scam, the wage board thinks it can quietly dupe workers with a measly pay increase,” PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza said in a statement released Saturday.
Fortaleza challenged the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), which is represented by Raymond Democrito Mendoza in Congress, to coordinate with other labor groups to protest the NCR wage board’s decision and launch a joint campaign for a living wage, considering that the TUCP has filed an P83 across-the-board wage increase petition.
LLANESCA T. PANTI