Cordi wage board sets P20-P30 wage increase

>> Tuesday, August 7, 2018

BAGUIO CITY -- The Cordillera Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) has issued Wage Order 19, providing for PHP20 and PHP30 increases in the minimum wages of workers in the region.
RTWPB chairman and Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director Exequiel Ronie Guzman said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the Cordillera RTWPB's recommendation had been approved by the National Wage Commission on July 31.
It takes effect 15 days after Aug. 5, following publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Cordillera.
The minimum wage in Baguio City and the capital town of La Trinidad in Benguet province will increase by PHP20, while in other areas in the region, it will increase by PHP30. At least 57,000 minimum wage earners in the private sector will benefit from the increases.
This will make the minimum wage in Baguio and La Trinidad PHP320; PHP315 in Tabuk City; Bangued, Abra; Bontoc, Bauko, and Sagada in Mountain Province; Lagawe and Banaue in Ifugao; Buguias, Itogon, Mankayan, Tuba, and Tublay in Benguet; and PHP300 in all other areas in Cordillera.
This is in addition to the P5.82 per day increase in other monetary benefits to the employees.
Guzman explained that in determining the amount of the wage increase, the board considered the interest of the workers, the general capacity of the business establishments to pay, and the competitiveness of the wage compared with those in the other regions of the country.
The board, he added, also considered the poverty threshold of the region, which is PHP298. This is the amount that would make a family of five able to acquire their basic needs and would protect workers from exploitation, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“In coming up with the amount of increase, the board had to strike a balance. We issued an order, which is neither pro-labor nor pro-management,” Guzman said, assuring that the effect will not cause the closure of businesses but will still benefit the workers.
The labor sector had asked for an increase of P45 to P50 per day, while management asked for P15 to P20.
RTWPB co-chairman and Dept. of Trade and Industry regional director Myrna Pablo added they had to do a lot of “watching of the economic indicators and had to consult and get data from various government offices, including the private sector, through the conduct of consultations".
RTWPB Secretary Augusto Aquillo said the board issued the wage order last July 20 by submitting it to the national council, which approved it on July 31.
Cordillera is one of the nine regions in the country where minimum wages had been adjusted this year. The others were Regions 1, 3, 4A, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12.
The seven regions that have not issued any wage order for 2018 yet are the National Capital Region, Regions 2, 4B, 5, 10, 11, and 13.
Cordillera RTWPB’s order will cover all workers in the private sector receiving minimum wage in the region, regardless of positions, designations, status, and the method their wages are paid.
But this excludes domestic and household helpers, persons employed in the personal service of another, and the barangay micro-business enterprises (BMBE) with certificates of authority issued by the DTI under the BMBE law. -- PNA


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