Region 12 workers get wage hike

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 Sep) – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTPWB) in Region 12 has set a P15 to P20 increase in the daily wages of private workers in the region, bringing the area’s floor pay to as high as P295.

Jessie dela Cruz, RTWPB-12 secretary, said Wednesday the fresh round of wage increase was approved by the board in a meeting in Koronadal City Friday last week.

He said they immediately endorsed the proposed new wage order for the region to the National Wages and Productivity Commission “for approval and comment.”

“The board considered the need to adjust the current wage rates since the last increase was set two years ago,” he said.

He was referring to Wage Order No. RB XII-18 that took effect on Aug. 1, 2014 and set the daily wage rates in Region 12 to P275 for non-agriculture workers, P257 for agriculture workers and P255 for those in retail and service establishments.

Dela Cruz said the newly-approved wage adjustment mainly integrated the cost of living allowance or Cola set in the previous wage order.

He said workers in the non-agriculture sector will get a P20 increase, bringing their daily wages to P295.

For those in agriculture and retail sectors, he said they “simplified” the previous rates by eliminating the P2 difference and set them to a uniform P257.

Adding the approved P15 adjustment, he said the daily pay of workers in both sectors will increase to P272.

The RTWPB-12 earlier launched a series of consultations for the wage increase after the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines submitted a proposal in late April for a P143 adjustment.

The board, which is chaired by Department of Labor and Employment-Region 12 director Albert Gutib, has two representatives each from the management and labor sectors in the region.

Dela Cruz said they also made comprehensive studies on the region’s socio-economic condition, restoration analysis on the purchasing power of the peso, effects of the changes in the consumer price indices and the inflation rate.

“We made our decision based on these factors,” he said.

But the labor group Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)-Sentro described the new wage adjustment as a “paltry.”

“It is unfair and unjust for our workers here in the region as we were not properly consulted before this decision was made,” said Herbert Demos, APL-Sentro coordinator for Region 12.

He called anew for the “abolition” of the regional wage board and for the legislation by Congress of uniform wage adjustments for workers in the entire country. (MindaNews)