By DAWN CECILIA PEÑA
Amid increasing prices of staple goods and a stricter lockdown in place, workers group called the labor department’s rejection of a P100-emergency wage relief petition “heartless.”
“We are deeply frustrated on how this agency acted on legitimate and just demands of Filipino workers for a decent living wage especially in this time of pandemic,” said Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson and one of the wage hike petitioners, Christian Lloyd Magsoy.
The Board Resolution No. 1 of the Labor Department’s National Wages and Productivity Commission – Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – NCR cited a 2007 Supreme Court ruling stating that it is beyond their mandate to grant an across-the-board wage increase.
Defend Jobs Philippines said the resolution is heartless, insensitive and inconsiderate as the labor department decided merely on technicalities instead of merits and humanitarian considerations.
The decision came shortly before the NCR plus bubble reverted to the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
The petition was filed amid high inflation and unemployment, which put the country into economic decline. This was coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing prices of basic commodities.
“The wage board’s anti-labor decision had pulled the last straw on the recurring hardships of our workers during this COVID pandemic in the light of extended community quarantines, lockdowns, rising prices of basic commodities and services, massive unemployment, and termination among others,” Magsoy added.
The group said that their calls for a wage increase and better working conditions for Filipino workers will not end with the Wage Board resolution.