Wage hike snagged in MM; P12 hike OK’d in M’danao

Workers in Northern Mindanao will get an increase of P12 in the daily minimum wage.

But in Metro Manila, labor epresentatives walked out of deliberations of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) yesterday, according to sources.

“(They) were reluctant to go back. That is why the board was forced to reset the deliberation,” a source said.

Officials of the National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC) expressed confidence that RTWPB members would reconvene today and approve higher wages.

The wage board in CALABARZON is also expected to issue a wage order today, while the rest of the RTWPBs might act next week.

In Northern Mindanao, NWPC deputy executive director Esther Guirao said the wage order mandates private companies in the region to integrate the existing P16 COLA into the prevailing minimum wage.

“With the integration of the P16 COLA and the granting of additional P12 COLA, the prevailing take-home pay of minimum wage earners in Northern Mindanao is now pegged at P234,” she said.

Guirao said workers in Northern Mindanao will receive the additional P12 COLA starting June or 15 days after the publication of the new wage order.

The wage board also ordered the integration of another P10 COLA to the basic pay starting Nov. 16, she added.

Northern Mindanao comprises the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro and the city of Iligan.

Guirao said the wage board in Northern Mindanao was the first to issue a new wage order, while two others boards, including the one in Metro Manila, are expected to come out with a wage order anytime.

“There are certain provisions on the draft wage order that both employers and workers’ representatives are yet to agree on,” she said.

NWPC insiders said the workers and employers could not agree on the provision concerning exemption on the granting of salary increases.

However, the board already agreed to grant a P12 increase in the take-home pay of workers in Metro Manila, NWPC added.

If approved, the proposed wage order would peg the minimum wage rate in Metro Manila at P382.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, the country’s largest labor union, has sought an P80 across-the-board increase in the daily basic pay of workers in Metro Manila.

Last year, the Metro Manila wage board ordered a P12 increase and the integration of the P50 emergency cost of living allowance (COLA) into the basic pay. (PhilStar)

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