ECOP files for dismissal of petitions for NCR wage hike

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) has filed several motions to dismiss the petitions filed last April with the National Capital Region’s Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) by different labor groups seeking wage increases in Metro Manila.

The petitions earlier filed by four labor groups, namely, BPO Industry Employees Network, Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines, Pambansang Kilusan ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa (Kilos na Manggagawa), and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) are calling for an increase in the minimum daily wage of private workers in Metro Manila.

The first three labor groups are requesting for a P213 increase to hike the daily minimum wage to P750 from the current P537. On the other hand, the TUCP, the country’s largest labor organization, is seeking a much bigger P710 across-the-board increase to raise the minimum daily wage to P1,247.

ECOP-citing Rule IV of the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC) Guidelines N0. 01, Series of 2007, Amended Rules of Procedure on Minimum Wage Fixing-said in a statement that any wage order issued by the RTWPB may not be disturbed for 12 months from its effectivity, and no petition for wage increase shall be entertained within this period.

This rule may only be overridden under “supervening conditions,” ECOP further said.

“In the event, however, that supervening conditions, 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,” said the employers’ group.

ECOP noted that the last wage order (Wage Order No. NCR-22) issued by the RTWPB took effect on November 22, 2018.

“This means that the said Petitions were all filed merely around six (6) months after the effectivity of the Wage Order. As a rule, no Petition should be entertained by the Board except only for one reason, if there exist any supervening conditions.”

All four petitions filed by the labor groups were based on the following grounds: supervening conditions, high inflation rate, TRAIN Law, an inadequate minimum wage, an increase in the prices of basic commodities and services, high fuel prices, and to increase workers’ productivity.

ECOP, in filing motions to dismiss all four petitions, insisted that the claims of the labor groups that a supervening event exists were “baseless, groundless, unfounded and not supported by evidence.”

“As such, it is submitted that all four petitions should not be entertained and instead be dismissed outright,” it reiterated.

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