Ma. Gloria Tango, RTWPB chair and Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Region 12 director, said the new wage increase was approved b y the RTWPB following the two-day regional consultations here and in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato last week.
The minimum daily wage in the region, which covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Kidapawan, Koronadal, Cotabato and Tacurong, is currently set at P229.50.
Tango said the new wage adjustments approved by the board's Wage Order No. 15 covers at least five work categories: non-agricultural workers will receive a P10.50 increase in their minimum daily wages and an additional P5 in their cost of living allowance or COLA; agricultural workers under the plantation category will receive a P10 increase in their salaries and additional P3 COLA while those under the non-plantation category will receive an P8 adjustment in their daily wages and an additional P3 COLA; workers in the retail and service sectors under work force categories of more than 10 and not more than 10 will receive a wage hike of P7 and an additional P3 COLA.
"We agreed in principle early on that a wage increase is necessary at this time. We considered both the sentiments of our employers and the labor sector in coming up with this new wage order," she said.
Tango said the board already submitted the new wage order to the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) for review and confirmation.
Citing new guidelines in the approval and implementation of wage orders, she said wage boards were required to first submit their approved wage orders to the NWPC for review and confirmation before they could publish and eventually implement them.
But once the regional wage orders reach the NWPC, she it was earlier mandated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to immediately convene and fast track the review and confirmation process.
If the NWPC's confirmation will come out in early June as they expected, Tango said they will then publish the new wage order in a newspaper of regional circulation and wait for 15 days for it to officially take effect."
There's a big possibility that this new wage order will officially take effect before the end of June," she added.The last wage order was issued by the RTWPB and DOLE in October 2007, which provided for an increase of P5 in the daily cost of living allowance (COLA) of workers in the region. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)