GMA News Online

Western Visayas workers to get P10 wage hike

November 1, 2013 6:57am
Private sector workers in Western Visayas may get a P10 wage hike, after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board there approved a new wage order to the effect.
The Department of Labor and Employment Western Visayas said the increase is mandated by RTWPB 6 Wage Order No. 21, Iloilo-based The Daily Guardian reported Friday.
“Among the considerations weighed by the board is the impending imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) in raw sugar in agriculture sector; the number of establishments and workers covered in the different industries; the competitiveness of the region; the needs of the workers; and the capacity of employers to pay,” the report quoted DOLE Western Visayas Director Ponciano Ligutom, who is also the RTWPB-6 chairman, as saying.
He added the wage board was "unanimous in its decision to adjust the minimum wage rates of workers in the region after considering various conditions that warrant the hike.”
Under the order approved Wednesday, those employed in non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers are to receive P287 daily.
Those employed in establishments employing 10 workers and below will receive P245, the report said.
In the agriculture sector, the minimum wage for plantation workers will be P255 while those in non-plantation will be P245.
The new wage rates will take effect 15 days after its publication in newspapers. The last salary increase was on May 31 last year.
Ligutom said most workers covered by this new wage rate are those employed in micro enterprises. “It must be noted that 90 per cent of establishments in the region are in this category,” he said.
On the other hand, the RTWPB urged employers who can afford to pay more to consider a productivity-based pay (PBP) scheme which will inspire workers to be productive.
The board will deliberate in its next meeting the issuance of advisories on the PBP scheme. Such advisories may be issued later this year, or in early 2014.
Covered by the scheme are industries considered as key employment generators such as the sugar, business process outsourcing and tourism industries, academe and retail service.
Labor rep's reservation
A separate report on Bacolod-based Visayan Daily Star said Wennie Sancho, labor representative on the RTWPB Western Visayas, said he voted for the increase with reservations.
Sancho said the P10 increase is not enough but may still benefit 172,000 workers in Region 6 and about 12,000 workers in Negros Occidental haciendas, especially those who do not have unions.  — ELR, GMA News
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