Wage board defers decision on workers’ petition

Filipinos work at a factory in Malvar, Batangas, Aug. 10, 2018. — REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO

THE regional wage board has deferred its decision on a petition filed by a workers’ group seeking to raise the daily minimum wage by as much as P70 in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (collectively known as Calabarzon).

In a decision dated March 29, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board of Calabarzon said it decided to defer action on the petition filed by the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) after seeing an increase in unemployment and underemployment in the region.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) on Wednesday provided a copy of the wage board’s resolution no. 1.

In the resolution, the regional wage board said unemployment and underemployment in the Calabarzon Region last year jumped to 11.6% (from 6.2% in 2019) and 17.20% (from 11.7% in 2019), respectively.

It also cited the rising inflation, as well as the Philippine economy’s record 9.6% contraction in 2020.

“In view of the preceding situation in relation to the minimum wage issue, the Board decided, as a collegial body, to defer its decision on the petition of the (FFW), without prejudice, however, to any further action the FFW, or any other concerned labor sector group may deem appropriate,” the wage board said.

In July 2019, the FFW filed a petition for a daily wage hike in the amount of P50.91 to P70.92, plus a P5 simplification increase for workers in the Calabarzon Region.

Several hearings have been conducted but were disrupted by the Taal Volcano eruption in January 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. — GMC