Phil government eyeing non wage benefits
MANILA, Philippines – A wage hike has been ruled out, but the government is wrapping up a package of non-wage benefits as a Labor Day gift to workers.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday that President Aquino tasked concerned government agencies to come up with proposals to address the demands of workers.
“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is focused on the issues presented by workers and I think the President will join other Cabinet members and heads of agencies to discuss them,” Baldoz said.
She noted that contractualization, tax exemptions and social protection are among the issues that labor groups want the government to resolve.
The issues are divided into three categories: recurring issues, new issues that require presidential action, and issues that may be resolved through administrative measures.
Baldoz said that DOLE is already undertaking a study and will submit before Labor Day its list of proposals to the President.
But she ruled out the possibility of wage boards granting a salary on Labor Day.
The DOLE chief said the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board in the National Capital Region is coming out with a resolution on the petition of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines for an P85 wage increase.
“I don’t want to preempt the wage board, but under the law, the new wage hike petition cannot be entertained because of the one-year prohibition and there is also no supervening conditions to justify an immediate adjustment,” Baldoz explained.
Alan Macaraya, director of DOLE-National Capital Region, said the wage board already approved the resolution, which they will release to the public after Labor Day. The content of the resolution is very sensitive and the board decided to defer its release.
Meanwhile, the government is marking Labor Day by holding simultaneous job fairs nationwide, with over 400,000 local and overseas vacancies awaiting jobseekers.
“As of now, there are already 406,706 overseas and local jobs to be offered, but we are still hoping the number could reach half a million on Labor Day,” Baldoz said.
In Metro Manila alone, about 100,000 local and overseas jobs will be offered for jobseekers in the region, Macaraya said.