By IAN JEFREY ADDATU, May 25, 2017
THE Cordillera Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in the announced the increase of minimum wage in Baguio City and La Trinidad to P300 effective June 5. RTWPB-Cordillera chairperson Exequiel Guzman said the increase was approved by the board composed of worker’s representatives and employer’s representative after several conducts of public hearings and consultations.
Under the wage order, all industries or sectors employing 11 employees or more the minimum wage is P300 which includes the P15 cost of living allowance (Cola), while industries employing 10 or less employees, the minimum wage is P285 which includes the P15 Cola. In Tabuk City, Bangued, Bontoc, Lagawe, Banaue, Buguias, Bauko, Sagada and Tublay, the minimum wage for more than 11 employees is P290 including the Cola; however, for less than 10 employees is P280.
The lowest minimum wage in other areas in the region other than those mentioned have a minimum wage of P280 for more than 11 employees but for less than 10 employees is P270. Those not covered in the order are persons employed in the personal service of another and domestic workers by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 10361, otherwise known as the Batas Kasambahay, and workers in the registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with Certificate of Authority pursuant to RA 9178, known as the Barangay Micro Business Act of 2002.
RTWPB-Cordillera board secretary Augusto Aquillo said, “We cannot issue an increase order across the board since we have limited authority which is to fix only the minimum wage.” “Maybe some of you will say there is less increase, but that is based on the determination of each city and municipality as well as the economic situation of employers and other factors,” Aquillo said. Meanwhile, for domestic workers in the region, the minimum wage is P3, 000 monthly for those who are working in cities and first class municipalities while P2,500 for other municipalities.
Those that are covered here are general house helper, nanny, cook, gardener, laundry person, or any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis. Not included are those service providers, family drivers’, children foster family arrangement, and any person who performs work occasionally of sporadically and not an occupation basis. RA 6727, otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act, empowers the RTWPB to determine and fix the minimum rates applicable in the regions and to issue the corresponding wage orders subject to guidelines issued by the National Wages and Productivity Commission.
Fixing the minimum wage aims to provide safety measures for lowly paid workers, and attain a higher level of productivity in the work area, increase employment and augment the income of workers through incentives, without necessarily impairing the growth of business and interest of employers.