Wage commission grants P20 wage increase

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Saturday, September 3, 2011


THE National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on Friday announced the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Central Visayas (Region 7) has granted a P20-wage hike in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector in the region.

“The RTWPB-Central Visayas, in response to the need to help workers cope with price increases, but without impairing the viability of business in the region, yesterday issued Wage Order VII-16, mandating a P20 increase in the minimum wage of minimum wage earners in the private sector in Region 7,” NWPC executive director Ciriaco Lagunzad III said Friday.

“The new wage hike will take effect upon the confirmation by the NWPC of the new wage order (WO) and 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation,” he added in a statement.

The latest wage order brought to seven the number of RTWPBs that have issued WOs. Previously, the RTWPBs in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also issued their respective orders early this year.

Three more RTWPBs are expected to issue their own orders this month: Caraga, Zamboanga Peninsula and Davao Region, while seven RTWPBs are still assessing their respective regional economic conditions.

As per WO RO VII-16, minimum wage earners in the non-agriculture sector in the region’s Class A cities and municipalities will now receive P305, while workers in agriculture will receive P287.

Non-agriculture workers in Classes B, C and D cities and municipalities will get P285, P275 and P260 in daily pay, respectively, while workers in non-sugar farms will receive P270, P255, and P240 in daily minimum wage, respectively.

Sugar plantation workers and those in sugar mills, regardless of the area they are working, will receive P255 and P275 daily minimum wage, respectively.

Class A areas in the region are the cities of Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapulapu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay, as well as the municipalities of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando (or expanded Metro Cebu).

Class B areas are the cities of Toledo and Bogo and the rest of the municipalities in the province of Cebu, except the towns in the Islands of Bantayan and Camotes.

Class C areas are the cities and municipalities in the provinces of Bohol and Negros Oriental, while Class D areas are the towns in the province of Siquijor and the municipalities in Bantayan and Camotes Islands.

The new wage order provides that the minimum wage rates prescribed shall be for the normal working hours, which shall not exceed eight hours a day.
It also mandates that all qualified handicapped workers shall receive the full amount of the increase pursuant to RA 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

For private educational institutions, the new order provides that the share of covered workers and employees in the increase in tuition for SY 2011-2012 shall be considered as compliance with the new WO while any shortfall shall be covered in SY 2012-2013.

“Private educational institutions, which have not increased their tuition for SY 2011-2012, may defer compliance with the wage increase until 2012-2013,” the order added.

In the case of contractors for construction projects and for security, janitorial and similar services, the prescribed wage increase shall be borne by the principals or clients of the service contractors, it added.

To sustain rising levels of wages and enhance competitiveness, the new wage order strongly encourages businesses to adopt productivity improvement schemes such as time and motion studies, good housekeeping, quality circles and labor-management cooperation as well as to implement gain-sharing.

“The RTWPB shall provide the necessary studies and technical assistance to realize these pursuant to RA 6971 or the Productivity Incentives Act of 1990,” the order stressed.

RTWPB-Central Visayas received two wage hike petitions, one for a P100 across-the-board wage increase from the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and another for a P128.40 per day hike from the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Grand Majestic Convention Center Employees Union (GMC-EU, and Public Interest Advocacy and Litigation Office Inc. on April 19 and May 6, 2011, respectively.

Since these petitions were filed within the 12-month period since the last WO dated September 1, 2010, the RTWPB could not entertain the petition unless there exists a supervening condition.

After conducting a series of provincial review and assessment of the regional economy with stakeholders in Cebu City and in the provinces of Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Bohol, the Board declared a supervening condition on July 14, 2011.

Lagunzad said the RTWPBs conduct exhaustive consultations with various representatives from both labor and employer sectors and other stakeholders to ensure the continued employment of the workers and viability of business in their respective regions. (NWPC/Dole)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 03, 2011.

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