‘Supervening condition’ needed before DOLE acts on wage petition

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) will entertain the new wage petition if there is a "supervening condition".

Labor Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III made this comment after the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) filed a petition seeking for a PHP710 per day across-the-board wage increase for the NCR workers.

"So the sequence is if there is a petition, the Board would have to determine if there is sufficient or to be exact if there is a supervening condition to allow them to entertain the petition," Lagunzad said.

"If not, then the board will also issue a decision that the finding is that there is no supervening condition. Kung meron supervening condition then they will start consultation and analysis and they have a number of days in which to call for a public hearing and a number of days to make a decision after the last public hearing," he added.

According to the National Wages and Productivity Commission's (NWPC) rules of procedure, any wage order can only be issued once a year and no petition for a salary hike may be entertained within the 12-month period upon effectivity of the order.

"In the event, however, that supervening conditions, such as extraordinary increase in prices of petroleum products and basic goods/services, demand a review of the minimum wage rates as determined by the Board and confirmed by the Commission, the Board shall proceed to exercise its wage fixing function even before the expiration of the said period," it added.

In November 2018, the RTWPB-NCR granted a PHP25 pay increase for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila, bringing the current daily minimum wage to PHP537.

On Monday, the TUCP filed a petition before the RTWPB-NCR, seeking to increase the daily minimum wage from PHP537 to PHP1,247.

The TUCP cited the urgent need to address the growing health problems caused by "nutritionally deficient survival meals" such as instant noodles, canned sardines, among others.

"Forcing workers and their families to subsist on nutritionally deficient meals for a long period will definitely have bigger repercussions to business, bigger costs to the government and the economy is continuously ignored," TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza said in a statement.

"A vast army of undernourished Filipino workers is a definite outcome and is detrimental to the country that prides itself with skilled and perceptive workers, not to mention the cost of healthcare as we can already see with the increasing number of patients with kidney problems, diabetics," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency