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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 26, 2012
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Wage hike bid for
WV hits snag

Labor’s bid for a P97 daily wage hike in Western Visayas hit another snag and has its representatives on the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board up in arms.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative of the RTWPB, last night said they were informed that the National Wages and Productivity Commission has ruled that wage orders issued by the board as a result of supervening conditions are also covered by a one-year prohibition rule.

The rule has been that, in general, RTWPBs can issue a wage order only once in a given year, except when there is a supervening condition, such as an extraordinary increase in prices of petroleum products and basic goods and services, Sancho said.

Sancho said he and Hernane Braza, the other labor representative on the RTWPB of Region 6, will file a motion for reconsideration to this new NWPC ruling.

That will mean labor in Western Visayas will have to wait until July 16 before they can have a new wage hike, even if there are supervening conditions, he said.

“This is an injustice to the workers, they are changing the rules in the middle of the game,” Sancho said.

“I suspect this is another government intervention to frustrate, if not set aside, the wage issue clamor of the workers,” he added.

Sancho also expressed apprehension that a wage hike for the region could be further delayed by the change in the Department of Labor and Employment regional director in Western Visayas on Friday, who also sits as chairman of the RTWPB.

DOLE Region 6 chief Crispin Dannug will be replaced by Ponciano Ligutom, who was previously assigned in DOLE IX, as part of the reshuffling move of the department.

The Region 6 RTWPB held a consultation in Iloilo yesterday on the petition for a P97 daily wage hike filed by Trade Union of Filipino Workers.

There was strong opposition from management on the petition at the Iloilo consultation, Sancho said.

Negros business groups are also opposing the bid for a wage hike in Western Visayas.*CPG

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