Region 12 workers get wage hike

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) – Private workers in Region 12 will receive an additional P16 to P18 increase in their daily wages by next month, bringing the region’s pay floor to P311.

A pineapple worker in Polomolok, South Cotabato. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Sisinio Cano, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Region 12 director, said Thursday the adjustment was based on the new wage order for the region approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-12.

Under Wage Order No. RB XII-20, he said workers in the non-agriculture sector will receive an increase of P16 in their daily pay while those in agriculture, retail and service establishments will get an additional P18.

He said it sets the new minimum daily wage rate for non-agriculture workers to P311 and those working in agriculture, retail and service establishments to P290.

Cano said the wage adjustment was made “motu proprio” or by the initiative of the board after a review of the region’s socio-economic condition.

“(The board) determined the need to provide workers with immediate relief measures that will enable to cope with the rising cost of living,” he said.

He said they balanced such decision with the need to ensure the viability of the area’s business and industry sectors.

Cano, who chairs the RTWPB-12, said they submitted the new wage order to the National Wages and Productivity Commission for review prior to publication.

He said it will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper.

RTWPB-12 issued the new wage order last April 13, ahead of its targeted ruling by Labor Day on May 1.

The board conducted a public hearing and consultation here last month as part of a review of the prevailing minimum wage rates in the region.

The region comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Private workers in the area last received a wage increase on Oct. 9, 2016.

Under Wage Order No. RBXII-19, the minimum daily wage rate for non-agriculture workers in the region was set at P295 while those in agriculture, retail and service establishments received P272. (MindaNews)