East Visayas workers get minimum-wage increase

Published by reposted only Date posted on March 7, 2017

By Elmer Recuerdo, Businessmirror, Mar 7, 2017

TACLOBAN CITY—Minimum-wage earners in Eastern Visayas get an increase of between P10 and P25 in daily income based on their sectoral classification. The labor department in the region is urging business establishments to comply to this.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Eastern Visayas issued Wage Order RB VIII-19 increasing the basic minimum age for nonagriculture workers from the previous P253 to P278. This wage also applies for those working in sugar mills.

Workers in handicraft will now receive P246 and retail and service with 10 or less employees get P238, while those with over 10 workers will get P268 a day.

Agriculture workers will still receive lower rates of P244 for nonsugar, while those in sugar farms will get P238.

All workers in the private sector will still receive a P7 cost of living allowance on top of their daily basic wage. The new wage rates took effect on February 13, 2017.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director and RTWPB Chairman Elias Cayanong urged private employers to comply with the prescribed new minimum- wage structure in the region. He said based on DOLE’s monitoring, 22 percent of private establishments are not complying with the minimum wage, many of them are in retail service.

Cayanong said he is confident the compliance rate will increase in the second quarter after the department goes on a massive information campaign.

Wilson Uy, president of the Tacloban-Leyte chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the local business community welcomes the wage increase to ease the living condition of minimum-wage earners and increase their purchasing power.

“This will help our local economy because our workers will have more money to spend,” he said.

Uy, however, urged workers to be more dedicated to their work, so they can also help local businesses to survive, especially since many of them remain in debt and have not fully recovered from the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

Uy said small businesses may find it difficult to comply.

“They have no choice because this is an order from the DOLE. Some businesses may be forced to retrench employees or cut manpower to keep their business afloat,” he said.

The new wage rates will apply to all minimum-wage earners in the private sector in the region regardless of their position, designation or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which they are paid.

In the case of private educational institutions, the share of covered workers and employees in the increase in tuition for school year (SY) 2016-2017 shall be considered as compliance with the wage increase prescribed.

Private educational institutions, which have not increased their tuition for SY 2016-2017, may defer compliance with the minimum wage prescribed herein until the beginning of SY 2017-2018.

All private educational institutions shall implement the minimum wage prescribed starting SY 2017-2018.

Not covered by the new wage order are kasambahay or domestic workers, persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers of duly registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with Certificate of Authority pursuant to Republic Act 9178.

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