Press Release
February 12, 2019

Sen. Ejercito seeks abolition of regional wages boards

Sen. JV Ejercito has filed a bill seeking for the abolition of Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs).

In his Senate Bill No. 2205, Ejercito said RTWPBs would be replaced by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), which would "address regional wage distortions."

Under SB 2205, or "An Act amending Presidential Decree No. 442, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, and Providing for the Rationalization of Wage Levels on a National of Industrial Basis," the commission will function primarily to determine and fix the national wage rates according to industries and to issue corresponding wage orders.

The measure has been referred to the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development chaired by Sen. Joel Villanueva.

Citing a World Bank report in 2018, Ejercito said that the pace of poverty reduction in the country "has been slow" despite the "generally good economic performance."

"This makes a review of the wage structure not only urgent but imperative," Ejercito said, noting that higher wages are "among the most fundamental dimensions for inclusive growth aside from job creation.

He also said that the 1987 Constitution guarantees full protection to labor and warrants that workers shall be entitled to security of tenure, human working conditions and living wages. "However, reality reneges against the policy declaration in the Constitution," he said.

RTWPBs, which were created under Republic Act 6727, or Wage Rationalization Act of 1989, were mandated to study, fix and raise wages on a regional level based on poverty threshold, employment rate and cost of living specific to the region, Ejercito stressed.

"However, this has been seen as ineffective since wage distortions have emerged in different regions," he said.

"The RTWPBs have failed to ensure decent standard of living for the Filipino workers in different regions of the country," the senator added.

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