BAGUIO CITY – More than 20,000 daily minimum wage earners in the different parts of the region get an early Christmas present after the Cordillera office of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-CAR) approved a new wage order that increased the prevailing minimum wage regionwide.
RTWPB-CAR board secretary Augusto Aquillo, however, said that the announcement of the new minimum wage rates will be deferred awaiting the approval of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on the recently approved wage order pursuant to existing rules and procedures that were crafted for the said purpose.
Last August 20, 2018, the RTWPB-CAR implemented Wage Order No. 19, series of 2018 that increased the minimum wage in Baguio and La Trinidad to P320, emerging growth areas – P315 and other areas in the region – P300.
Aquillo explained that the newest wage order that was approved in the regional level was a product of the massive consultations with concerned stakeholders that were conducted in the different parts of the region aside from the consideration of the major factors that affect the capacity of the employers to pay and the economic needs of the daily minimum wage earners.
“The approved new minimum wage order will be beneficial to both the daily minimum wage earners and to the non-minimum wage earners who will also be entitled to an increase based on the formula of wage distortion that was created with the upcoming implementation of the new minimum wage in the region,” Aquillo stressed.
According to him, the RTWPB-Car already transmitted to the NWPC the approved new wage order for the region and that what is being awaited is the action of the Commission on the crafted wage order.
He explained that after the approval of the new wage order by the Commission, the same will be published in a local newspaper of general circulation and will take effect 15 days after its publication.
Aquillo noted that that issuing a wage order is not an easy task since striking a balance between the interests of employers and their workers is the primary objective. This means, the economic needs
of the workers and the capacity of the employers to pay have to be carefully considered and rationalized.
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Added information is that any wage order issued by RTWPB is either a product of a petition filed or by motu proprio initiative of RTWPB itself. If through a petition, it means any individual or a group may file an action to RTWPB seeking for a wage increase. If this happens, a series of hearings and deliberations shall be conducted by the RTWPB to determine the validity and appropriateness of the petition. Once determined, the final result is either an issuance or non-issuance of a new wage order.
On the other hand and in the absence of a petition, a new wage order can still be issued through the motu proprio action of RTWPB. This means that RTWPB shall take the initiative to conduct researches, studies and consult the public on a possible wage adjustments. If the result shows that a wage order should be issued, then RTWPB shall issue one. If not, then there shall be no wage adjustments. By HENT