MANILA - Workers are free to file a new petition "anytime" for raising the minimum wage, following a P25 increase in Metro Manila, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.
New minimum wage rates of P500 to P537 across different sectors in the National Capital Region were announced Monday. This was below the P334 per day increase requested by the country's biggest labor group, Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).
"Anytime they can file another petition for increase of the minimum wage, pero pag-aaralan ulit iyan (but that will be studied again)," he told radio DZMM.
An appeal to adjust the P25 increase can also be filed within 10 days after its publication, National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Maria Criselda Sy said in a separate DZMM interview.
No such appeal has succeeded, even when it reached the Supreme Court, she earlier said.
Bello said he hoped labor groups would not mount strikes to express their dismay over the size of the increase.
"Sana naman hindi na aabot sa ganoong sitwasyon dahil alam naman nila na gusto mang ibigay ang kanilang kahilingan, dapat isipin natin ang kakayanan ng ating employers," he said.
(We hope that we won't reach that situation because they know that even if we want to grant their request, we also need to consider the capability of our employers.)
The minimum wage hike was closer to the P20 offer of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.
The wage board considered the the needs of workers, the capacity of employers to absorb a pay hike, and inflation, Sy said.