BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-CAR) disclosed that employers in the different parts of the region are religiously complying with the provisions of Wage Order No. 19, series of 2019 that pegged the prevailing minimum wage for daily wage earners.
RTWPB-CAR board secretary August Aquillo claimed that the compliance rate of employers in the region to the new wage order ranges from 84 to 89 percent which is one of the highest compliance rates among the different regions in the country.
“Cordillera employers are one of the most obedient employers in the country that is why we are always at the top in terms of our compliance to the updated wage orders being handed down by the wage board,” Aquillo stressed.
However, he admitted that there is always a compliance problem among employers when a wage order has been issued, especially if the order provides for a wage increase, but as soon as the employers are informed on the matter, they immediately effect the increase to the wages of their workers without awaiting for the issuance of the notices of violation for them to comply with the prescribed increase.
The RTWPB-CAR official stated that in other regions, even developed ones, the compliance rate of employers to the prescribed minimum wage in their areas of operation range from as low as 60 to as high as 75 percent unlike in the Cordillera wherein there is always immediate compliance once a new wage order has been approved.
According to him, there are also some violations of employers on the implementation of the prevailing wage order but the issue could be settled once the involved workers and the employer will sign a compromise agreement on how the wage order will be effected to the employees.
The prevailing minimum wage for employers having more than 11 workers in Baguio and La Trinidad is P320 per day while those working in establishments with less than 10 workers should be getting P310 per day. On the other hand, the minimum wage in emerging growth areas like the capital towns of the region, except for La Trinidad, and neighboring municipalities, specifically for employers having more than 11 workers is P315 per day while the daily wage of those working in establishments with less than 10 workers is P310. In other areas in the region outside the emerging growth areas, the prevailing minimum wage is P300 per day.
The latest wage order was issued by the RTWPB early in August and that the same took effect on August 2018.
Under the pertinent provisions of the law that created the RTWPB, wage boards are authorized to increase the prevailing wages in the regions every one year except when instances that there are supervening events like the prevalence of double digit inflation rate among other compelling reasons.
Aquillo appealed to employees who have issues to raise against the implementation of the minimum wage in their workplaces to immediately seek the assistance of the wage board or the nearest labor and employment office in their places and bring to the attention of labor officials such concerns for immediate and appropriate action and ensure that their rights are protected from the hands of abusive employers. By HENT