By Samuel P. Medenilla, July 15, 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business World

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to conduct its stakeholder consultation next week for the ongoing review of the country’s minimum- wage setting scheme.

Citing the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC), Labor Assistant Secretary Joji V. Aragon said the two-part consultation will be conducted by the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

“The NWPC has engaged the University of the Philippines School of Economics to undergo a six-month study on these issues,” Aragon told reporters in an interview.

“It will have its first consultation with labor on July 24, and another consultation with management on July 25,” she added.

She said this will supplement the third-party study commissioned by the NWPC on the country’s reversion to a national minimum-wage rate. The study is slated to be completed in November or December.

“We really have to study the economic side of it because we cannot just increase wages because we all know…that will be inflationary,” Aragon added.

In a separate interview, NWPC Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy told the BusinessMirror that the agency is considering a two-part review of the wage-fixing scheme.

“The first part would be the 30 years of experience of our regional boards in executing their mandate. And then [the second part] would be the macroeconomic side of it so we could determine its impact. It is more of the use of empirical [pieces of] evidence or the number-crunching part,” Sy said.

“We can have something within the year,” she added.

Labor groups have been demanding for the abolition of the regional wage-setting system, saying it has failed to grant workers a sufficient minimum-wage hike.