Higher Central Visayas min. wage starts December

Posted on November 9, 2012

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Private sector workers in Central Visayas will get an additional P22 in the daily minimum wage when a new wage order takes effect in December.

This raises the floor wage to P327 a day for employees in Metro Cebu, the second highest rate in the country next to Metro Manila.

The increase was approved unanimously yesterday by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Central Visayas (RTWPB-7).

The pay hike applies only to minimum wage earners, which means those receiving the current P305 a day or below would get the additional pay said Regional Director Ma. Gloria Tango of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) who heads the wage board.

The increase should benefit security guards, laborers, clerks, drivers, sales attendants, food servers, secretaries and various entry-level job holders, among others.

The new wage order ROVII-17 will take effect 15 days after publication of the full text in a newspaper.

Tango said the target for that is December 10.

She appealed to employers to implement the new minimum wage, which comes just before the Christmas holidays.

DOLE will conduct inspections after the Christmas season to check on compliance since their policy disallows company visits during Christmas to avoid accusations of bribery.

Companies with employees receiving a little over P305 have to implement the increase to avoid salary distortion, Tango added.

The P22 amount is the biggest approved by the board so far, said Ernesto Carreon of the Associated Labor Unions, one of two labor represetnatives in the board.

The last adjustment for Central Visayas workers was a P20 increase in Sept. 22, 2011.

On a nationwide scale, the highest minimum wage is paid to workers in the National Capital Region or Metro Manila at P409 to P446 a day. Central Visayas, particularly Metro Cebu, comes next at P327 followed by Davao or Region XI at P301 a day.

The P22-wage hike approved for Central Visayas yesterday was way below the increase sought by two labor unions.

The Associated Labor Unions (Alu) asked for a P90-wage increase while the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) sought a P121.84-wage increase.

Carreon, a labor representative of the board. said both petitions were junked during deliberations.

He said the management sector first offered a P20 increase while he and the other labor representative, Jose Tomongha, asked for P30.

Anticipating the board’s two government representatives would side with the management, Carreon said he and Tomongha appealed for a compromise of P22. Other board members agreed.

The resolution containing the new wage increase will be sent to the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC) in Manila for confirmation. Once approved, it would be published in a newspaper with general circulation.

The board declared that “supervening conditions” in August justified early action on petitions for a wage increase without waiting for a one-year gap period between wage orders. /Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent

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