BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-CAR) is now currently reviewing the prevailing minimum wage in the region to ascertain whether or not there is a need to adjust the wages of minimum wage earners in relation to the prevailing economic situation not only in the region but also in the country.
Augusto Aquillo, RTWPB-CAR board secretary, said provincial and city consultations were already completed by the wage board and appropriate inputs from both the labor and management sectors were gathered for further deliberations by the board.
“We have to strike a balance among all factors affecting the existing wage and the current state of our economy before the board will decide whether or not to grant additional daily wage for our minimum wage earners regionwide,” Aquillo stressed.
Currently, the prevailing daily wage for workers in the non-agriculture sector within the Baguio-La \Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) is P280, composed of P273 basic pay and P17 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
According to him, the consultations on the current wage in the Cordillera is part of the wage board’s moto promo function considering that the labor sector did not file a formal petition clamouring for a wage increase in the region following the subsequent increases in the daily wages of workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Western Visayas.
Aquillo cited the labor sector in the different provinces and cities in the region are clamouring for an increase in the daily wages of minimum wage earners because of the unabated increase in the prices of basic commodities amidst the unstable oil rices while the management sector is praying for a status quo on the prevailing daily wage in the region.
The RTWPB-CAR official disclosed the recent provincial and city consultations were successful and the wage board was able to generate sufficient data from the ground for possible consideration in the upcoming deliberations of the board once the same has been formally submitted during their future meetings.
The RTWPB is composed of representatives from both the labor and management sectors as well as regional directors of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Aquillo appealed to all concerned sectors to await whatever decision of the wage board considering that deliberations on whether or not to increase the daily wages of minimum wage earners is still to be scheduled in the coming weeks as the schedules of the members of the board are still being arranged.
Under the law, no wage increase will be allowed only after one year of the effectivity of a wage hike except in supervening events such as the occurrence of double digit inflation in the region where the wage is in effect among others.
Aquillo cited data from concerned government agencies in relation to the regional and national economic situation will also be included as part of the inputs during the forthcoming wage hike deliberations by the board when it will convene in the coming weeks depending on the availability of the members. By Dexter A. See