Region 12 workers to get 25-peso daily wage hike

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 Jan) – Private workers in Region 12 will receive an additional P25 increase in their daily wages in two tranches starting the end of the month or early February, nearly two years after the last wage adjustment.

Sisinio Cano, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Region 12 director, said Tuesday the adjustment was based on the newly-affirmed Wage Order No. RBXII-21 issued last Dec. 16 by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-12.

Under the new wage order, he said workers will receive an increase of P15 upon its effectivity and additional P10 starting May 1.

It brings the new pay floor in the region to P336 for workers in the non-agriculture sector and P315 for those in agriculture, retail and service sectors, he said.

Cano said Wage Order No. RBXII-21 was formally affirmed last Jan. 9 by the National Wages and Productivity Commission and will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper.

The official said the new wage rates were mainly based on a series of studies conducted by RTWPB-12, which includes representatives from employers and local workers.

“This is a win-win situation for both parties,” he told MindaNews.

Last November, the board launched a review “motu proprio” or by its own initiative of the prevailing wage rates based on the region’s socio-economic condition.

Cano, who chairs the RTWPB-12, said they need to provide workers with immediate relief measures so they can cope with the rising cost of living.

He noted that private workers in the area last received a wage increase in May 2018.

Under Wage Order No. RBXII-20, the minimum daily wage rate for non-agriculture workers in the region was set at P311 while those in agriculture, retail and service establishments received P290.

Jessie dela Cruz, RTWPB-12 secretary, said the new wage rates will apply to all minimum wage workers in the private sector regardless of their “position, designation and status of employment, and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.”

He said it will specifically cover private workers in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal Tacurong, and Kidapawan.

Cotabato City, which was covered by the previous wage order, is no longer included being now under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Dela Cruz said exemptions from compliance with the new wage order may be granted to retail and service establishments that are employing “not more than 10 workers.”

He said establishments affected by natural and human-induced calamities or disasters may also be given exemptions but would need to undergo a series of validations by DOLE. (MindaNews)