Cordillera wage hike in the works

In coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) will be deliberating on the amount of increase on the existing P300 minimum wage in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

“This issue in wage fixing has long been up in the year. We’ve been to different provinces in the region. We see the need for an increase in wage, but the very hard thing to do is to decide on the amount that will be added,” said DOLE Assistant Regional Director Jesus Elpidio Atal Jr.

During the consultations in Baguio and La Trinidad, a group of employees proposed to have a salary increase of P50. The group reasoned that P300 is not enough to sustain their daily expenses, even more so with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Meanwhile, a group of employers suggested a minimum wage of P315 with a subsidy of five pesos for employer’s basic salary and additional P25 for cost of living allowance (COLA).

The group agreed to an increase in minimum wage because of the inflation of prices for basic and prime commodities including transportation. Employers also feared that without the increase employees would go to other regions with higher minimum wage.

“If we decide, we will make sure that it would be more or less a balance decision, a win-win solution both for the employers and the employees,” said RTWPB Management Representative Engr. Alfonso Lao.

The RTWPB will have 45 days to deliberate and finalize their decision.

The regional wage body conducted a series of public consultations throughout the region from June 26 to July 4.
On May 5, 2017, the board issued the last wage order, increasing the minimum wage in the whole region by P15. This was when Baguio increased its minimum wage to P300 pesos.

BY JEROMY VERAYO

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