Western Visayas workers get P30-minimum wage increase
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas has granted private sector workers in the region a wage increase ranging from P15 to P30.
The RTWPB-Western Visayas issued Wage Order No. 25 on Tuesday, October 22, which is expected to take effect in the last week of November or first week of December, according to RTWPB-Western Visayas chairman Cyril Ticao.
Under the new wage order, workers in non-agriculture, industrial, and commercial establishments with more than 10 employees will earn at least P395 daily, or P30 higher than the previous P365.
Non-agricultural workers in establishments with 10 workers and less will have daily minimum wage of P310 from P295, while agriculture workers will earn P315 daily, from P295, said Ticao, who is also a director at the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 6.
The DOLE official added that there’s no separate daily minimum for workers in Boracay Island as the new wage increase will be implemented across the region.
Western Visayas spans Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental.
Ticao said under the wage order, the P15 cost of living allowance will become part of the basic pay.
He said the new wage order will be forwarded to the National Wages and Productivity Commission for approval. It will be effective 15 days after publication in a newspaper of regional circulation.
The labor sector said the wage increase is "not substantial" while business leaders in the region said it is not reflective of the current economic situation.
Wennie Sancho, labor representative to RTWPB-Western Visayas and secretary-general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations, said it’s difficult to tackle a wage increase since it is a “balancing act to reconcile the interest of the labor, management, and the government.”
Sancho said the increase is not substantial but somehow, it will help “cushion the impact of high prices of commodities” for the workers. He added it will give the minimum wage earners “something to get by” with.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was dismayed by the new order, saying he was “very disappointed” with the board for not considering the proposal of the management to reclassify the employer’s bracket.
He lamented that small businesses with more than 10 workers are in the same category as giant corporations that have more than 200 employees, making it unfair for small and startup companies.
“This is not reflective of the current situation. The board should have considered the earning and paying capacity of the employers,” he pointed out.
He said this development is putting the small players at a disadvantage.
In the public hearings last September, the business sector has expressed its strong opposition on the wage increase, claiming it was only recently that the region has implemented a wage hike.
Wage Order No. 24 that was approved last year gave the workers in the region an additional pay of P13.50 to P41.50 per day.
The new petition had sought a P50 hike in the daily salary of plantation and non-plantation workers, P60 for the commercial and industrial sectors, P80 increase in the daily salary of workers in Boracay, due to the high standard of living. – Rappler.com