THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assured Friday, November 11, 2022, that it is adopting a “prudent” approach in the ongoing assessment of prevailing wage rates prompted by the soaring inflation rate.

Speaking at the National Productivity Conference of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on late Thursday, November 10, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said it will carefully assess the existing wage rates before deciding if there is a need for a new round of adjustments.

“We will continue to use the existing tripartite wage mechanisms to help address the situation, and we will do so prudently,” said Laguesma.

By this, he said it will mean that they will consider not just the position of the workers, but also the employers.

“We shall be taking into account the need to balance the interest and needs of workers and employers, especially at this time when our economic recovery is still at the early stages,” said Laguesma.

He said this is because both the employees and the employers, particularly those in the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector, have been heavily hit by the ongoing economic crisis.

“The rise in the prices of food items and basic goods and services have impacted on the income and purchasing power of workers, as well as on the business cost of MSMEs and large enterprises alike,” said Laguesma.

Earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the inflation rate last October surged to 7.7 percent, which is the highest since the 7.8 percent recorded in December 2008.

This has prompted calls from the labor sector for a new round of wage hike in all regions be mandated, saying the inflation has cut down the true value of their salaries.

In response, Laguesma said all regional wage boards have already been directed to closely assess the situation in their areas and determine if there is a need for a new round of wage hikes. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)