THE local wage board has approved a P15 increase in Western Visayas but a labor representative to the board said the amount has “no impact on the daily lives of workers.”

Winnie Sancho, labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas, said the amount is not enough for the workers considering the high prices of goods and services in the region.

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Sancho said he signed the wage order under protest as his group petitioned for a P50 increase in daily wage.

“We are opposing the amount but we could not do anything to stop the implementation, whatever protest we may have,” said Sancho, adding that the composition of the wage board was lopsided in favor of the business sector.

He said the labor representatives are always outvoted. 

The P15 increase in wages was approved by the RTWPB last July 28, 2010 and took effect on August 12, 2010. 

Under Wage Order no. 18, the new daily minimum wage rates are P265 for non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers and P223 for those employing 10 or less than 10 workers.  

Those employed with the agriculture sector will receive P233 for the plantation workers and P223 for non-plantation workers. 

Sancho said only those who will benefit from the wage increase are those from the organized labor force, like those who are working in malls.  

But the new wage order said the distortion apply to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the region, regardless of their position, designation or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which they are paid. Household or domestic helpers are not covered by the order.

Meanwhile, Sancho reiterated his stand for the abolition of the RTWPB and give back to Congress the authority to grant across-the-board wage increase. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)