NCR wage board rejects
TUCP wage hike petition

Workers are seen in file photo on one of the many construction projects in Metro Manila. Most construction workers are minimum-wage earners.

CITING lack of jurisdiction, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) has rejected the P470 wage hike petition of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

In an SMS, RTWPB-NCR Chairman Sarah B. Mirasol told BusinessMirror, “We dismissed the petition of TUCP for lack of jurisdiction of the RTWPB-NCR over the wage across-the-board increase.”

TUCP’s five-page petition, filed last March 14, asked for a P470 daily wage increase for all private sector workers in the NCR “to be given across-the-board.”

Under the Wage Rationalization Act, the RTWPBs could only handle wage petitions concerning minimum wage earners.

Mirasol said the RTWPB-NCR continued to process the three other wage petitions pending before the RTWPB-NCR.

“We gave due course to the other petitions as we already scheduled consultations on minimum wage hike this April,” Mirasol said.

Refiled petition

In a virtual press conference on Monday, TUCP Raymond C. Mendoza expressed outrage over the dismissal of their petition due to a technicality.

“It is grossly unfair for the wage board to just dismiss our petition and choose to ignore the arguments and computations which are all about a minimum wage increase. While it is true that the RTWPB cannot grant an across-the-board wage increase, it has jurisdiction insofar as providing an increase in minimum wage,” Mendoza said.

Nevertheless, he said they opted to just refile their petition, removing the term “across-the-board” so the RTWPB-NCR could immediately act on it.

“We chose that path because we deemed to argue with them right now will delay the process….Time is of the essence,” Mendoza said.

TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay assailed the RTWPB-NCR’s dismissal of their petition.

“The wage board, as usual, sided with the interest of business groups led by ECOP (Employers Confederation of the Philippines) to dismiss the petition,” Tanjusay said.     

TUCP is pushing for the new wage hike in NCR to allow minimum wage earners to cope with
the rising cost of living in the region, as inflationary pressures from the steady rise of oil prices, driven most recently by the Ukraine-Russia conflict, have compounded shortages arising from supply chain issues gripping businesses worldwide throughout the pandemic.

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza


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