Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday said that workers can expect to receive salary increase “within the month” amid soaring prices of basic goods and commodities.
“Within the month, kasi very clear ‘yung instruction ng Presidente (the President’s instruction is very clear to) address the issue of rising prices,” Bello told reporters at the Senate.
But Bello said the possible wage hike may not be as high as the P750 nationwide minimum wage demanded by labor groups.
“Hindi kaya ‘yan. Kailangan pang pag-aralan nang mabuti ‘yan. Baka instead of helping the employees, baka mawawalan ng employment,” he said.
(That can’t be done. It still needs to be studied. Maybe instead of helping employees, it might decrease employment.)
The labor chief said the salary increase will vary per region, but he said it is also possible that it would be a flat rate.
“Actually ‘yung sa regional wage boards, yearly ‘yan; once a year ka lang makapag-adjust but in case of a supervening event that may require immediate action you can activate ‘yung ating regional wage boards,” he said.
(Actually, in the regional wage boards, it’s yearly; they can only adjust once a year, but in case of a supervening event that may require immediate action, you can activate our regional wage boards.)
Bello said the labor department would convene with several government agencies and labor groups in June 5 to discuss their demand for higher salary.
“Sa June 5 we are going to meet them to find out how we can address ‘yung demand nila for increase of P750 minimum wage. That has to be passed by Congress,” he said.
“Wala sa (It is not the) authority of Department of Labor and Employment. It is Congress that can fix the national minimum wage,” he said.
Labor groups have been calling for the nationwide P 750 minimum daily wage to help families cope with rising prices amid the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).
On Monday, the Makabayan bloc filed a measure that seeks to increase the minimum wage to P750 at the House of Representatives.