DOLE: NCR minimum wage no longer enough amid rising costs


The minimum wage in the National Capital Region may no longer be enough for workers and their families amid the steep increase in the prices of fuel and other basic goods, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Bello said he ordered the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards across the country to hasten the review of minimum wages.

"The current daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region (NCR), for instance, of P537 may no longer cope with the price of basic commodities such as food, electricity and water bills," Bello said.

The Labor chief expressed confidence that the RTWPBs would submit their recommendations before the end of April.

Bello, who chairs the Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, said the RTWPBs, along with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and representatives from both the labor and employers groups, should as a matter of procedure monitor the wage levels, assess the economic factors and provide recommendations for the adjustment of minimum wages all over the country.


“Setting and adjusting the wage level is one of the most challenging parts of minimum wage fixing. Minimum wage cannot be very low as it will have very small effect in protecting workers and their families against poverty," Bello said.

"If set too high, it will have an adverse employment effect.  There should be a balance between two sets of considerations,” he added.

RTWPBs nationwide receive petitions for minimum wage increase in their respective areas.

“Every year,  we have what we call an anniversary period where we make an assessment of all petitions received. One petition called for a uniform increase of P750 in the minimum wage nationwide,” Bello said. —NB, GMA News