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DOLE: P33 daily minimum wage hike awaits Central Visayas workers

Private sector workers in Region VII or Central Visayas are set to receive a pay hike next month after the region’s wage board approved an increase in daily minimum wages, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday.

In an advisory, the DOLE said Central Visayas’ Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) issued Wage Order No. ROVII-24 on September 5, 2023.

The wage order provides an increase of P33 in the daily minimum wage in Region VII, which covers the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

The DOLE said the RTWP Region VII’s wage order was submitted to and subsequently affirmed by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on September 12, 2023.

The wage order will be published on September 15, 2023 and shall take effect after 15 days or on October 1, 2023.

The latest minimum wage hike brought the daily minimum wages in Class A to C areas to a range of P420 to P468 for non-agriculture establishments, and P415 to P458.00 for agriculture and non-agriculture establishments with less than 10 workers.

The distribution of new minimum wage rates per geographical class are as follows:


Class A areas include the cities of Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay; and municipalities of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, San Fernando or the Expanded Metro Cebu.

Class B areas, meanwhile, are the cities of Toledo, Bogo, and the rest of municipalities in Cebu Province, except Bantayan and Camotes Islands.

Class C areas are the cities and municipalities not covered under Classes A and B in Region VII.

The newly approved minimum wage rates translate to a 7.6% to 8.6% increase from the prevailing daily minimum wage rates in the region and would result in a comparable 23% increase in wage-related benefits covering 13th-month pay, service incentive leave (SIL), and social security benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, according to the DOLE.

Moreover, the  wage order is expected to directly benefit 346,946 minimum wage earners in Region VII.

“About 399,572 full-time wage and salary workers earning above the minimum wage may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion,” the DOLE said.

The DOLE said the minimum wage increase in Central Visayas “considered the various wage determination criteria provided under Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act, resulted from several petitions filed by various labor groups seeking an increase in the daily minimum wage due to escalating prices of basic goods and commodities.”

The region’s wage board —comprised of representatives from the government, management and labor sectors— conducted public hearings on July 10 in Northern Cebu, July 26 in Metro Cebu, August 1 in Southern Cebu, August 10 in Bohol, and August 11 in Dumaguete, as well as wage deliberations on August 29, September 2, and September 5.

This is the third wage order issued by a regional wage board, following the P40 minimum wage hike approved by the National Capital Region’s Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in June and the P35 to P50 wage adjustment thumbed up by Calabarzon’s wage board early this month.

The last wage order for workers in private establishments in Region VII was issued on May 24, 2022 and became effective on June 14, 2022.

The DOLE noted that “as provided for in the NWPC Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination,” retail or service establishments regularly employing not more than 10 workers, and enterprises affected by natural calamities and/or human-induced disasters may apply to the RTWPB for exemption from the wage increase.

Likewise, Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) are not covered by the minimum wage law pursuant to Republic Act No. 9178 [2002]. —KG, GMA Integrated News