RTWPB urged to hasten resolution of wage hike petition

A LABOR leader urged the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-Western Visayas to expedite the resolution of the petition seeking a daily minimum wage increase of P130 to P150 for workers in Western Visayas.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB-Western Visayas, Tuesday, January 30, said there should be an immediate action to the wage increase petition amid another round of increase in the prices of petroleum products.

On January 22, the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) filed the said petition.

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.
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 area of less than 24 hectares, with P130 additional pay.

“By not acting immediately to the petition, we are only prolonging the agony of the workers,” Sancho said, adding that no other wage increase petition was filed so far before the Wage Board.

Under the existing Wage Order No. 23, which will expire on March 16, 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.

On February 20, the RTWPB-6 will conduct a consultation with the management sector. A separate consultation will be conducted with the labor sector.

Sancho said the issuance of the Wage Order is within 45 days at the conclusion of the last public hearing.

He pointed out that the Wage Board can actually issue the order without waiting for the 45 days to lapse.

“With the current supervening conditions where we can no longer stop the spike in the prices of gasoline and other commodities, immediate action would mean a relief for consumers and workers in Western Visayas,” he added.

RTWPB-Western Visayas chairman Johnson Cañete said “the petition should go through a certain process which Sancho is already aware of.”

Cañete, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Western Visayas, said that after the consultations with the management and labor sector there will be at least two public hearings before the deliberations can take place.

“We are also expecting other petitions to be filed so these will be acted upon simultaneously,” he added.
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