BAGUIO CITY August 06 – The Cordillera Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWBP-CAR) approved a P20 to P30 increase in the wages of daily wage earners in the region which will be effected on the basic pay of the workers fifteen days after the publication of the order in a local newspaper of general circulation.
RTWPB-CAR board secretary Augusto Aquillo said that the board’s decision to approve the increase in the daily wage was a motu propio action in the absence of any petition filed by the labor sector seeking for an increase.
Aside from apply in the increase in the basic pay of the workers, Aquillo explained that the P15 daily Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) under the previous wage order was integrated to the basic rate pursuant to the newly approved wage order.
Under Wage Order RB-CAR-19, the new minimum wage structure for industries or sectors employing 11 or more workers will be P320 for Baguio city and La Trinidad; P315 for Tabuk City, Bangued, Bontoc, Lagawe, Banaue, Bauko, Sagada, Buguias, Itogon, Mankayan, Tuba and Tublay and P300 for other areas in the region.
For all industries or sectors employing 10 or less, the new daily minimum wage is P310 for Baguio City and La Trinidad; P305 for Tabuk City, Bangued, Bontoc, Lagawe, Baaue, Bauko, Sagada, Buguias, Itogon, Mankayan, Tuba and Tublay and P300 for other areas in the region.
He disclosed that the new wage order will be applicable to all workers in the private sector receiving minimum wage regardless of position, designation, status and irrespective of the method their wages are paid.
However, those that are not covered by the order include domestic or household helpers considering that there is a separate wage order covering the said sector; persons employed in the personal service of another and Barangay Micro-business enterprises with certificate of authority issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under existing law, rules and regulations.
The RTWPB-CAR official underscored that nothing in the new wage order will allow the reduction or elimination of any existing wage rates, allowances or benefits already enjoyed by the workers arising from laws, decrees, issuances among others, company policies and agreements.
According to him, the share of the employees from the increase in tuition fee of the schools for schoolyear 2018-2019 will be deemed as compliance to the new wage order and that any shortfall shall be paid by the institution for schoolyear 2019-2020 and that by next year, all school shall have effected the new minimum wage.
For apprentices and learners, the minimum wage rate mat adjusted to be equivalent to not less than 75 percent of the new wage while handicapped workers the same treatment as the other formal workers.
Regarding the cure to the wage distortion created by the new wage order, he explained that for organized workers, the same will undergo the grievance machinery, voluntary arbitration and while for unorganized workers, employers and workers need to endeavour to correct the said distortion.
For mobile workers, Aquillo claimed that the minimum wage rate mandated for the domicile or head office of the employer will be followed while for branch workers, the minimum wage rate mandated for the place of work or where they are stationed shall apply.
He urged workers who have complaints for non-compliance to the minimum wage to file their complaints to the field offices of the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR) having jurisdiction over the work places subject of such complaint.
If settlements fail, he noted that complaints may ripen into formal labor cases and may eventually become subjects of enforcement proceedings under the provisions of the labor Code of the Philippines.
Aquillo claimed that employers who will be found guilty of failing to comply with the implementation of the minimum wage rate face a penalty of at least 25,000 to P100,000 or imprisonment of 2 to 4 years or both depending on the discretion of the court and double the unpaid benefits.