Consultation set on possible wage increase in R-12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 March) — The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of Region 12 will hold a public consultation here next month to determine the possibility of implementing another adjustment in the daily minimum wages of private workers in the region.

Jessie dela Cruz, RTWPB Region 12 secretary, said Tuesday they decided to hold a consultation on April 28 to know whether there are supervening conditions that would justify the passage of a new wage order.

“We will look into the region’s socio-economic condition and assess the situation of our workers and their employers,” he said in a radio interview.

He said the results of the consultation will serve as basis for the board in deciding whether a new wage increase or adjustment is necessary at this time.

Dela Cruz clarified the board has not received any petition so far for a wage increase from any of the organized labor groups in the region but the board is exercising its mandate to act motu propio on the matter.

He said that under the law, regional wage boards are allowed to assess and pass new wage orders on its own or even in the absence of any petition, especially if there are supervening conditions.

The supervening conditions could be an extraordinary increase in prices of petroleum products, basic goods and services, he said.

Private workers in the region initially received an additional cost-of-living allowance or cola of P6 to P8 starting April 2012 as provided for in Wage Order XII-17.

It set an additional cola of P4 to P6 for the second tranche starting December 1, 2012.

Region 12, also called the Soccsksargen region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Non-agriculture workers in the region presently receive a minimum daily pay of P270 while agriculture plantation and non-plantation workers get P248 and P243, 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.

Dela Cruz said they have invited officials of the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics in the region to provide inputs regarding the area’s socio-economic condition.

He said they expect leaders of employers groups, workers’ unions and other sectors in the region to attend the consultation.

“We will get their views, sentiments and possible suggestions or recommendations regarding the possible wage adjustment,” he said.

Dela Cruz said they will validate during the consultation their initial findings on the region’s economic situation, specifically the price adjustments in some basic commodities, fuel price movements, tuition and fare adjustments and other related concerns.

The official said that aside from the April 28 public consultation here, they have not scheduled a similar activity in other parts of the region.

But he said they are open to schedule a similar activity if there will be clamors from concerned sectors, especially the workers and employers. (MindaNews)