By Charissa Luci-Atienza
As the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) is not expected to grant wage increase to workers in Metro Manila and other regions nationwide, KABAYAN party-list Rep. Ron Salo vowed yesterday to push for the passage of a measure seeking to raise the minimum wage nationwide to P600.
He described as “unfair” the minimum wage levels in the different regions, citing that it was about to provide financial security blanket to workers.
“It is time for the wage boards to make workers gain from the economic growth across the country, especially in the countryside,” Salo said in a statement.
“Our workers perform the same service wherever they’re located, and yet, we pay them different minimum wages,” he pointed out.
Salo said the people in the countryside flock to the cities, particularly in Metro Manila to seek higher wages.
He noted that government employees were paid equally regardless of their area of assignment – whether they are in Metro Manila or in the far-flung provinces.
“What makes the difference in the pay among our government employees is the degree of responsibility and functions assigned to the employee, and not the place of assignment. And yet, for our workers in the private sector, their minimum wages are simply determined by the place or area where they work,” Salo said.
Salo sought the passage of House Bill 7527 to set to P600 the national minimum wage.
The measure provides that the existing National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) shall determine incentives and other productivity improvements to the wage earners within a region when still necessary.
“The law which created the wage boards was enacted way back in 1988 or 31 years ago. It is overdue for updating to make it relevant to the needs of our time and to make it flexible for future work,” Salo said.
“This measure will help our fellow Filipinos keep up with the inflation or the increase in the general price level of goods and guarantee a humane standard living for all, specially to lowliest and unprotected members of the workforce, by providing them real wage gains,” he said.