By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria wants to amend the country’s Labor Code to rationalize the fixing of minimum wages and to promote productivity among employees of the government with Salary Grade 1.
He specifically sought amendments to Articles 99, 121 and 122 of Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.
“An efficient, justly compensated, and well-incentivized civil service is the bedrock of a strong state and efficient government. It is observed, however, that the achievement of these goals is hindered by the exclusion of government employees as minimum wage earners under the coverage of Title II of Presidential Decree (PD) 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, ” Sagarbarria said.
He filed House Bill 7382 proposing that government employees with Salary Grade 1 be considered as minimum wage earners.
“While public servants are differently situated from private employees, in that public service is imbued with public interest, it does not follow there is no need to rationalize the fixing of minimum wage of government employees with Salary Grade 1 so that minimum standards of living are within a framework of national economic and social development program that addresses productivity, the demand for living wages, the needs of workers and their families, the fair return of the capital invested and capacity to pay of the government as employer, among others, ” Sagarbarria said.
Under House Bill 7382, the Negros lawmaker asked the National Wages and Productivity Commission and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to include them as subjects of their respective mandates under the Labor Code.
The bill tasks the Commission and Productivity Boards to immediately promulgate implementing guidelines of the proposed Act and conduct the necessary studies towards the issuance, within one year of the effectivity of the proposed Act.