By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman), Feb. 7, 2017
RTWPB-7 chairman Exequiel Sarcauga said that the seven members of the board have yet to meet this February 13 to discuss the details of the wage order that still has to be issued. Philstar.com/File
CEBU, Philippines – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-7 yesterday agreed to raise the minimum wage of workers by P13 per day.
RTWPB-7 chairman Exequiel Sarcauga said they decided to increase the wages of minimum wage earners due to the increase in the consumer price index, inflation rate, and the prices of basic commodities.
However, Sarcauga said that the seven members of the board have yet to meet this February 13 to discuss the details of the wage order that still has to be issued.
“We still have to discuss the details of the wage order as well as the implementation,” said Sarcauga.
Some called the increase useless.
“A great insult to the workers. Di man ta kapalit og sardinas anang ilang increase. Is that the change the new administration is talking?” said Metudio Belarmino, spokesman of the Cebu Labor Coalition, one of the wage hike petitioners.
Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the chamber believes that the P13 daily minimum wage increase for workers in Central Visayas is at the higher end of their computation.
Ng said even with possible effects like closure, unemployment, price inflation, loan defaults, loss of investment, and further losses of the stock exchange as well as the value of the Philippine peso, they are still amenable and compliant to the agreement.
“Nonetheless, CCCI will remain to be a firm crusader of comparable labor rates with that of our ASEAN neighbors,” she said.
Glenn Soco, Mandaue City Chamber of Commerce president, said the amount is an additional burden to the business sector.
“It’s an added burden to the businesses in addition to the effects of the changes on the policies of the government pertaining to contractualization,” he said.
He added he hopes there will be a moratorium on the granting of the wage adjustment, saying the increasing cost of doing business will make us less competitive in the global market.
The wage hike petitions filed before the RTWPB-7 were the following: P161 daily wage adjustment by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines; P140 daily wage adjustment by the Cebu Labor Coalition, among others; and P101.34, P90.61, and P86.87 wage adjustments for all workers in the private sector of the Negros Island Region filed by the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers’ Union.
Currently, Region 7 observes the following daily minimum wage rates: P353 for Class A cities and municipalities like the cities of Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and the municipalities of
Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, and San Fernando;
For Class B cities and municipalities covering the cities of Toledo, Bogo and the rest of the municipalities in Cebu Province except Bantayan and Camotes Islands, the minimum wage is P320.
For Class C cities and municipalities in Bohol and Negros Oriental Province the minimum wage is P310.
For Class D (the municipalities of Siquijor Province and the municipalities in Bantayan and Camotes Islands) the minimum wage is P295. — with Garry B. Lao/BRP