Region 12 wage body to tackle pay hike

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/2 May) — The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of Region 12 will convene on Saturday to decide whether there’s a need to implement another adjustment in the minimum daily wages of private workers in the region.

Ofelia Domingo, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 12 director, said Friday they will specifically discuss the prevailing socio-economic condition in the area based on the result of the public
consultation that they conducted earlier this week.

She said they will also look into the positions made by the labor and the employers sectors regarding the wage adjustment.

The RTWPB, which is chaired by Domingo, is composed of the DOLE and representatives from the workers and employers sectors in the region.

During the public consultation, the official said the employers pushed for a status quo of the prevailing wage rates in the region.

She said a labor group pushed for a P125 increase in the daily minimum wage and another for a P15 increase.

“We will weigh all the facts and necessary considerations and eventually come up with a win-win decision on the matter,” Domingo told MindaNews in an interview.

Private workers in the region last received an increase in their daily wages in April 2012 when the RTWPB approved Wage Order XII-17, which provided an additional cost-of-living allowance or Cola of P6 to P8.

The wage order 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.

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

She said that under the law, regional wage boards are allowed to assess and pass new wage orders by 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. (MindaNews)