P30 wage hike in Davao Region to start Aug. 16

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 Aug) – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 11 is set to implement a daily wage increase of P30, the first tranche of the approved P56 wage hike, starting August 16 in the Davao Region to help minimum wage workers cope with rising cost of living.

The wage order, signed on June 27 but released to the media on August 1, stated that the increase came after the region-wide public hearing on June 6, covering the areas of Davao City, Digos City, Mati City, Panabo City, Island Garden City of Samal, Tagum City, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.

It said that the board determined “the need to restore lost purchasing power of minimum wage earners in Davao Region for them to cope with the rising cost of living without impairing the productivity and viability of business and industries therein.”

The daily wage earners in non-agriculture/industrial/commercial and retail/service industry employing more than 10 workers would receive P370; agricultural workers would receive P365; and P355 for retail/service employing not more than 10 workers, starting August 16.

Upon implementation of the second tranche at P26 daily on February 16, 2019, the wage would be increased to P396 for workers in non-agriculture/industrial/ commercial and retail/service industry employing more than 10 employees; P391 for agriculture; and P381 for retail/service employing not more than 10 workers.

The board said the prescribed wage rates under this wage order shall apply to all workers and employees in the private sector receiving the minimum wage in the Davao Region, regardless of position, designation or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.

But the order will not include domestic workers or “kasambahay” covered by Republic Act 10361 or the “Batas Kasambahay”, persons employed in the personal service of another, and workers of establishments registered under Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law (and also as provided under RA 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act of 2013).

The board said there is a need to build the capacity of business enterprises to be competitive through productivity improvement and gainsharing programs, which is consistent with the government’s policy of achieving a higher level of productivity to preserve and generate jobs, and to augment the income of workers.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Arturo Milan said he is wary of the impact of new wage order on the micro and small businesses, which comprise 95 percent of the total businesses in the region.

He said they will not only contend with the P56 per day increase or 16-percent increase in minimum wage but also 10-percent increase in local business tax plus the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) on their businesses.

“I really hope this will not result to retrenchment just for businesses to survive,” he said.

The order stated that all workers paid by results, including those who are paid on piecework, “takay”, “pakyaw” or task basis, shall be entitled to receive the prescribed minimum wage rates per eight hours work a day, or a proportion thereof, for working less than eight hours.

It added that wages of apprentices and learners shall in no case be less than 75 percent of the applicable minimum wage rates prescribed in this order. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)