BACOLOD

RTWPB sets public hearings on proposed Western Visayas wage hike

THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas has scheduled four public hearings for the proposed P130 to P150 daily minimum wage hike for workers in the region.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB-Western Visayas, said Sunday, April 1, that the first two public hearings will be conducted at Aklan State University-Kalibo Campus and Capiz Provincial Capitol in Roxas City on April 24 and 26, respectively.

Sancho said the remaining two hearings will be on May 8 and 10 in cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, respectively.

"The board has yet to conduct these series of public hearings before it can deliberate the proposed wage increase," he said, adding the result will come out by the end of this month, but the effectivity of the order is likely in June.

Wage Order 23 already expired last March 16. However, since there is no new wage order yet, the same minimum wage rate still applies.

Under which, the daily minimum wage rate in non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers is P323.50.

For those employing less than 10 workers, the existing rate is P271.50.

Workers in the agriculture sector are receiving daily minimum wages of P281.50 and P271.50 for plantation and non-plantation, respectively.

Last January 22, the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) filed the wage hike petition before the RTWPB-Western Visayas.

It sought to increase the salary of minimum wage earners in the region, depending on the classification of their work and the sector they belong.

The labor group asked for a daily increase of P150 for non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers.

While those with less than 10 employees the proposed increase was pegged at P130.

Under the petition, agricultural plantations with an area of more than 24 hectares should provide a P140 daily increase. Those with an area of less than 24 hectares, with P130 additional pay.

Prior to the scheduled hearings, the Wage Board already conducted two consultations with the management and labor sectors in February this year.

During these consultations, both sectors have recognized the need to have wage increase considering mainly the possible impact of the tax reform law to the workers.

As to the amount of increase, the Board composed of representatives from the management, labor and government sectors has yet to determine it. (EPN)


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