RTWPB backs reactivation of price councils in Central Luzon

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Region 3 has expressed support to the call for activation/reactivation of all Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCCs) in Central Luzon to stabilize the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.

Ma. Zenaida A. Campita, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and chairperson of RTWPB-Central Luzon, said on Thursday that after reviewing the minimum wage rates in Central Luzon, which turned one year in effectivity last Jan. 1, the board passed a resolution supporting the call of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-Region 3) and Department of Agriculture (DA-Region 3) to activate/reactivate LPCCs in the provincial, city and municipal levels.

The creation of LPCCs is mandated under Republic Act 7581 otherwise known as the “Price Act”.

“The Wage Board is supporting the call for activating/reactivating all LPCCs in Central Luzon to manage price increases of basic commodities and to stave off further hardship among workers, especially during these times when both workers and employers are gradually recovering from the catastrophic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Campita said in a statement.

She said the wage board observed that prices of basic necessities and prime commodities in public and private markets sometimes get unreasonable and excessive, especially during periods of calamity, emergency and similar situations.

“Workers are primary consumers and as such, they shall be provided with protection against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to pricing of goods,” the resolution reads.

It further said the “minimum wage increase in Central Luzon may be unreasonable, untimely and unlikely at present taking into consideration the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic among business enterprises”.

Campita said to reduce pressure on the increase of minimum wage, the wage board proposes to manage price increases of basic necessities and prime commodities through strict monitoring by local government authorities.

At present, minimum earners in Central Luzon in the non-agriculture category and establishment with total assets of PHP30 million or more receive PHP420 basic pay per day.

On the other hand, employees working in the non-agriculture category and establishments with assets of less than PHP30 million have PHP413 basic pay per day.

This wage applies to minimum wage earners in the provinces of Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan and Nueva Ecija.

For the province of Aurora, the daily minimum wage is PHP369.

Under the agriculture category, the wage for plantation and non-plantation workers in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, are PHP390 and PHP374, respectively.

Workers in the plantation and non-plantation in Aurora, on the other hand, receive PHP354 and PHP342, respectively.

Meanwhile, for the retail or service category, with 16 or more workers, the daily minimum wage is PHP409, and for those with less than 16 workers — PHP395 for both six provinces; and PHP304 in Aurora.

Source: Philippines News agency

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