KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — Apparently worried over the employers’ plunging compliance rate for the minimum wage in Southwestern Mindanao, the Regional Development Council (RDC) wanted the salary rates posted in giant billboards, a labor official said.
Ma. Gloria Tango, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment, urged local government units in the region to follow the resolution passed recently by the RDC.
“The region’s compliance rate for minimum wage was 72.40% in 2010, and 67.15% in the first semester of 2011,” she noted.
Last April 1, a new round of wage increase took effect in the region, pegging the daily minimum wage of P260 for workers in the non-agricultural sector; P240.00 for agriculture (plantation); P235.00 for agriculture (non-plantation); P240.00 for retail/service establishments employing more than 10 workers, and; P234.00 for retail/service establishments employing less than 10 workers.
It was the second tranche of an increase in minimum wages for private sector workers approved in October last year
Tango said the RDC resolution urged the 50 LGUs, of which five are cities, to put up 5×11 feet billboards in conspicuous places in their respective localities.
The purpose is to keep the public informed on the current minimum wage rates and to attain higher compliance among covered establishments in the region, she added.
Southwestern Mindanao straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani. This city is the regional seat of government.
Tango said the proposal to put up giant billboards came from the representative of the private sector to the RDC, Joemarie Angeles, who represents the labor sector and a member of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-12 (RTWPB-12).
Tango warned employers who are not complying with the minimum wage rates that they face criminal charges.
About three months ago, the RTWPB-12, which Tango chairs, decided to forego a new round of wage increase following the skyrocketing prices of fuel products.
There was no supervening condition in the area that would warrant an increase in the minimum pay of private sector workers, she said.
Salaries may not be increased one year after the effectivity of the latest wage order unless a supervening condition exists, Tango explained.
Allan Yaphockun, regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Southwestern Mindanao, said they would have preferred a status quo as salary increases would be an additional burden to employers. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)