MANILA, Philippines – Some 30,800 minimum wage earners in Northern Mindanao will gain an additional P12 daily by July 3, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz announced Monday, June 29.
The region’s wage board approved the increase for all private sector minimum wage workers. This makes the varying minimum wage standards in the region above the poverty threshold.
This is the 18th such mandated salary hike in the region in a span of 16 years or since the Wage Rationalization Act was enacted, said Baldoz.
Non-agriculture sector workers in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City, Iligan City, Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan will earn P318 daily, while agriculture sector workers in the same areas will earn P306. CDO and Iligan are the two highly urbanized cities in the region.
The minimum wage rate for non-agriculture sector workers in Malaybalay, Valencia, Gingoog, El Salvador, Ozamiz, Maramag, Quezon, and Manolo Fortich will be at P313. Agriculture workers in these areas will have a minimum wage of P301.
Workers of Northern Mindanao establishments with 10 or less employees will have a minimum wage of P308 for the non-agriculture sector and P296 for the agriculture sector. These rates also apply for workers in Oroquieta, Tangub, Lugait, Opol, and Mambajao.
All other minimum wage workers will earn P303 in the non-agricultural sector and P291 in the agricultural sector.
These wage earners are also exempted from paying income tax on their wage and on their hazard pay, holiday pay, night shift differential, and overtime pay.
Failure or refusal by employers to pay the prescribed adjusted wage is punishable by a fine not exceeding P25,000 and/or imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than two years.
Complaints over employers’ non-compliance with the wage increase can be filed before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office.
|AREAS||NEW MINIMUM WAGE (Non-agri)||NEW MINIMUM WAGE (Agri)|
Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan
Malaybalay City, Valencia City, Gingoog City, El Salvador City, Ozamiz City, Maramag, Quezon, Manolo Fortich
Oroquieta City, Tangub City, Lugait, Opol, Mambajao, and all Northern Mindanao establishments with 10 workers or less
All other Northern Mindanao areas
Regional directors’ report
In a report transmitted to Baldoz, DOLE Region X Director Raymundo Agravante said the new minimum wage hike was based on multiple economic and business-related factors in the region.
These include eroding minimum wages, inflation rate, the salary adjustment’s impact on prices of goods and services, movements in the consumer price index, the region’s current economic condition, employers’ capacity to pay, as well as results of its studies, sectoral consultations, and public hearings.
Agravante chairs the Regional Wage and Productivity Board in Region X, which approved the increase. The board is composed of representatives from the labor, employer, and government sectors.
The board has also issued guidelines on implementing a productivity-based incentive scheme for the bus transport industry, the regional director added.
The scheme operates under Baldoz’ 2012 “wage reform,” a two-tiered wage system which mandates a floor wage or a minimum salary as the first tier and encourages benefits based on productivity-based formulas by the wage board as the second tier.
Bus transport workers were vulnerable to income risks and inadequate compensation, as previous payment schemes allowed employers to pay them based on the number of passengers. Such a system was also linked to overcrowding in buses.
A similar move is underway for handline fishermen across the country, who are paid depending on their volume of fish catch rather than a fixed wage. (READ: Decent jobs? The case of Filipino handline fishermen)
The floor wage increase in Northern Mindanao comes at a time when the region is perceived to be poised for a breakthrough in international trade.
Trade Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo had in the past urged greater investment in Northern Mindanao in the area of logistics, an ancillary industry to manufacturing.
During a meeting with business leaders last March 5 in Cagayan de Oro, he expressed confidence that the region is headed toward further advancement in terms of international trade.
He highlighted opportunities in the region for “growth and investment in fields such as agriculture, food processing, service-related industries and trade infrastructure services.” – Rappler.com