Wage Board considers hike petition sufficient, sets hearings

THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas has considered the petition seeking for a daily minimum wage increase of P50 to P60 for private sector workers in the region as sufficient in form and substance, its member said.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB-Western Visayas, said the Wage Board during its regular monthly meeting in Iloilo City on Tuesday, July 23, already scheduled the hearings and deliberations on the proposed wage increase.

Sancho said that, tentatively, the series of public hearings will be on August 23 in Iloilo City, September 6 in Bacolod City, and September 20 in Boracay Island.

The Wage Board, on the other hand, is set to deliberate on October 1, 4, 10 and 11, he said.

“We will know if there are oppositions during the public hearings,” the labor leader said, adding that there can already be an approved wage increase by October 12.

But as to the amount, Sancho said “we cannot speculate for now” as the petition has yet to pass through the hearings and deliberations.

It can be recalled that a wage hike petition was filed by the New and Independent Workers Organization (Niwo) on July 1.

Niwo is a rank and file labor union of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. - Bacolod.

The group sought for a P50 increase for workers in the plantation and non-plantation and P60 for commercial and industrial sector workers in the region.

It also has a special provision seeking a daily minimum wage increase of P80 for workers at Boracay Island in Aklan.

The filing of the petition came 15 days before the expiration of the existing Wage Order No. 24 on July 16 this year.

Under which, minimum wage earners in Western Visayas are receiving an additional pay of P13.50 to P41.50 per day

Minimum wage rates in the region which included the cost of living allowance (Cola) are P295 and P365 per day.

Workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees are receiving a minimum wage of P365 per day.

From the previous P323.50, the RTWPB-Western Visayas came up with an increase of P26.50 on basic wage plus a Cola of P15. All in all, the increase in this classification was P41.50.

Those employing 10 workers and below, the existing wage rate is P295 from only P271.50. It was derived from an increase of P18.50 plus a Cola of P5, or a total of P23.50.

For agriculture sector, plantation workers received P8.50 increase and Cola of P5, thus, the existing wage rate is P295. This is P13.50 higher than the previous rate of P281.50.

Those in non-plantations, the existing wage rate is also P295 from the previous P271.50 due to a basic wage increase of P18.50 and P5 worth of Cola, or a total of P23.50.

Sancho, also the secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said they expect to have a new Wage Order on or before October 20.

“The Wage Board should issue a new order 30 days upon the conclusion of the last hearing,” he said.

Sancho said the upward movement in consumer price index (CPI) is an indication that there is a need for a wage increase.

“Also, the erosion of the purchasing power of the workers has to be restored,” the labor leader added.


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