THE country’s biggest aggrupation of labor group will file on Monday a P710-wage increase petition before the National Capital Region (NCR) due to growing poverty in the country

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), through spokesman Alan Tanjusay, said on Sunday that there was an urgent need for another round of salary increase even as the one year period rule since the last wage increase was granted has not yet lapsed.

“We will be citing supervening conditions in filing the petitions. We are also going to test once again the capacity of the wage boards to remain relevant with its mandate to raise the minimum wage to an amount that can ably support a family,” Tanjusay said.

Section 3, Rule IV of the National Wages and Productivity Commission Revised Rules of Procedure on Minimum Wage Fixing provides that any Wage Order issued by the Board may not be disturbed within 12 months from effectivity, and no petition for wage increase shall be entertained within said period, except when there is a supervening condition such as extraordinary increase in prices of petroleum products and basic goods/services, which demands a review of minimum wage rates as determined by the Board and confirmed by the commission.

All 17 wage boards in different regions have adjusted the minimum wage rates from P8.50 to P56 daily wage increases in different periods last year, including Metro Manila on November 2018 with a P25-daily wage hike.

The last wage increase amounting to P21 per day was granted to minimum wage earners in Metro Manila on Oct. 5, 2017, out of the original petition of P184 per day. It brought the daily minimum wage rate in the private sector to P512 from P491.

The last wage increase amounting to P25 was granted in November 2018 by the National Wages and Productivity Commission, bringing the minimum wage in Metro Manila from P512 to P537 across different sectors.

If the new petition is granted, it will bring the minimum wage in NCR to P1,247.

TUCP said that workers in the highly urbanized region should be receiving a minimum of P1,247 salary in order for ordinary workers and their families to live normal and decent lives.

It said the current P537 wage for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila was highly insufficient in the light of rising costs food and services caused by taxes and inadequate government services and social protection assistance to poor Filipinos.

Government standards announced by the Philippine Statistics Authority and the National Economic Development Authorit two weeks ago sets the minimum amount of P349 a day or P10,481 a month for a family of five to be considered out of poverty.