Private workers in R-12 get P4-6 Cola hike

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 November)– Private workers in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region will receive additional cost-of-living allowance or Cola of P4 to P6 in their daily wages starting Dec. 1, a regional labor official said.

Chona Mantilla, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Region 12 director, said the additional Cola represents the second tranche of the wage-related benefits set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) for the region’s private workers.

Citing provisions of Wage Order XII-17, the official said the area’s workers already received an initial Cola of P6 to P8 upon its effectivity last April.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.

Non-agriculture workers in the region presently receive a minimum daily pay of P270 as provided for in the wage order.

It sets a minimum daily wage of P248 and P243 for the agriculture plantation and non-plantation workers, respectively.

For workers in retail and service establishments, the current minimum wage is P246 for those employing more than 10 workers and P240 for those with less than 10 employees.

But on Dec. 1, Mantilla said agriculture plantation and non-plantation workers will be receiving a minimum daily pay of P252 and P249, respectively.

She said workers in retail and service establishments that employ more than 10 workers will receive P250 while those in under 10 workers’ category will get P246.

Mantilla said they’re presently moving for the implementation of just one or two average wages and the provision of productivity-based incentives for the region’s workers.

“Management and labor will have more leeway when it comes to the provision of productivity or performance-based incentives than implementing across-the-board wage increases,” she said in a radio

The official said they will come up with a set of guidelines before coming out with the proposed productivity-based incentive scheme.
Meantime, Mantilla assured that they are continually checking the compliance of business establishments and other entities in the region in terms of the implementation of the minimum wage rates.

She said the agency’s inspectors have been making rounds of local companies and businesses on a regular basis to immediately address wage-related concerns of local workers.

Mantilla said they have already subjected a number of employers to investigation due to complaints of non-compliance with the wage order.
“We currently have a compliance rate of around 77 percent among local employers in terms of the labor standards,” she added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)