Palace: Up to Congress to abolish wage boards

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2019 09:31 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday said it was up to Congress whether or not to heed the call of a labor group to abolish all wage boards in the country and replace them with a single wage-fixing body that will determine a uniform minimum wage rate nationwide.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) earlier called on President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish the current regional wage-setting system, saying this only benefits businesses and not the workers.

But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, noted that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards can only be abolished through the enactment of a law.

Panelo explained that the wage boards, which determine the minimum wage rate in a region, were created under Republic Act 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act.

“Whether the extinguishment of these boards is beneficial cannot be decided by one interest group alone. It requires consultation among our partners in various sectors, including those legitimately representing labor,” Panelo said in a statement.

“The President will initially defer to the wisdom of both houses of Congress as to amending the pertinent provisions relating to the existing wage boards. The Executive however will review and study the proposed change of structure of these boards.”