DOLE awaits wage boards’ proposals to cushion TRAIN impact

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is expecting the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to issue recommendations to cushion the effect of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) law on workers.

After this meeting, we expect the Wage Boards to immediately act on their current wage orders to help minimum wage earners cope with the rising cost of living, said DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III in a press conference on Monday.

Earlier, he ordered all wage boards in the country to convene and assess the impact of rising costs of goods on workers' income and purchasing power.

We are doing this to provide daily wage earners the capability to cushion the impact of spiraling prices, if not totally recover the lost value of their income, the DOLE chief added.

On the other hand, National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) Executive Director Maria Criselda Sy is hoping that actions from regional wage boards will be done within a month.

Usually, they may have recommendations already within 30 days... such as declaring a supervening condition in the region, she explained.

Under the Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Law, wage boards may adjust wage rates if there are supervening conditions affecting the capacity of workers to cope with inflation, even if it falls within the 12-month prohibited period from the last wage order issued.

With this, Bello is pushing the six RTWPBs that have reached one-year anniversary of salary adjustments.

The six regions are Central Luzon, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao Region.

Expected to issue new wage orders are Boards whose wage orders have already reached their anniversary dates. I have instructed them to fast track their public hearing and immediately issue a new wage order, Bello added.

There have been increases in prices of fuel, grocery items, electricity rates, and other basic commodities in the past weeks. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency