New wage rate takes effect November 18

MINIMUM wage earners are set to receive P350 daily following the approval of the new wage rate in the Cordillera by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

The wage increase will be applicable for Baguio City, La Trinidad, Benguet and Tabuk City in Kalinga.

The RTWPB said the new wage rate is composed of P340 basic pay and P10 Cost of Living Allowance (Cola), which take effect this November based on Wage Order RB-CAR-20.

Bangued in Abra province; Bontoc, Bauko, and Sagada in Mountain Province; Buguias, Itogon, Mankayan, Tuba and Tublay in Benguet; and Banaue and Lagawe in Ifugao will have a P340 daily minimum wage, which is composed of the basic P330 plus P10 Cola.

The rate is also applicable to other parts of the region.

"Here in our new wage rates, there is no more mention of the employment size, there is no more restriction on whether the number of employees are 11 or more or 10 or less because this is the result of further simplifying the wage structure because according to labor, they all have the same needs and what varies only is the capacity to pay," said Exequiel Ronnie Guzman, Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Cordillera director.

Republic Act 6727, otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act, empowers the RTWPB to determine and fix minimum wage rates applicable in the region and to issue the corresponding wage orders subject to the guidelines issued by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), particularly its guidelines Number 1 of 2007 as amended by NWPC guideline Number 2 of 2012.

"The increases beyond P338 is a product of negotiations because we have reliable indicators that answer the negotiations between labor, management and government which is what is positive in wage fixing at the regional level. We consider all inputs in the conduct of public hearings and in fact, the lowest there was at 25 and the highest proposal was that of the Manila rate," De Guzman added.

The RTWPB-Cordillera adhered to the policy requirements of the Two-Tiered Wage System by exercising its minimum wage authority consistent with the policy of the government to provide safety measures for lowly paid workers to attain a higher level of productivity in the work area, increase employment and augment the income of workers through incentives without necessarily impairing the growth of business and interest of employers.

Dole-Cordillera also assured the new wage order will not have any effect to the agricultural farmers in the region since they are on a contract basis.

The wage order will apply to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the Cordillera regardless of their position, designation or status and irrespective of the method their wages are paid.

Persons employed in the personal service of another, domestic workers by virtue of Republic Act 10361, otherwise known as the Bakas Kasambahay, and workers in the registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with certificate of authority pursuant to Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise Act of 2002 are not covered by the new wage order.


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