Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that a P45 increase in the minimum wage in all provinces of Region 2 will take effect on 1 May, after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in the region approved the increase on 22 April.


She also said, during the DOLE’s Pre-Labor Day Press Conference in Intramuros, that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards in other regions in the country are currently in the various stages of process of wrapping up their wage consultations, deliberations, and public hearings prior to issuing decisions on whether or not they will issue new wage orders in their respective regions.


“This is to be expected because of the regionalized nature of the minimum wage setting process,” Baldoz said, citing Region 3 whose second tranche of its two-tranche wage order takes effect on 1 May.


“In Region 3, there will be a wage increase of P7 for all minimum wage order on 1 May after the first tranche of P8 took effect last January 1,” she said.


“Also on 1 May, the second tranche of the P20 wage increase in the minimum wage in Aurora will take effect, thereby bringing the minimum wage in that province higher than the poverty threshold.  All minimum wages in the country will, thus, be higher than the poverty threshold, making us achieve the target we have set under the minimum wage reform of the Pres. Aquino III Administration, “she added.


Baldoz, citing a report from Executive Director Alex Avila of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), said that after conducting public hearings, the wage boards will meticulously study the recommendations of both employer and labor sectors.


“Under the law, a wage hike petition must go through a public hearing and deliberation by a seven-man regional wage board composed of two representatives each from labor and business, and three from the government,” the labor and employment chief said.


Regional Wage Boards are assessing the needs of workers and their families, capacity of employers to pay, comparable wages and incomes across regions and requirements of economic development in the light of the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the region.


The wage boards will also consult with other government agencies to study whether the present economic conditions would warrant a pay hike in their regions. They need to first study the economic conditions to warrant wage adjustments in the region.


The regions which are nearing or past the anniversary dates of their wage orders are the National Capital Region whose Wage Order No. 19 reached its anniversary date on 4 April; Region 8 on 30 March; and Region 13 (Caraga) on 14 February.


On the other hand, the regions whose wage orders are nearing their anniversary dates are Region 4-A on 1 May; Region 6 on 2 May; Region 11 on 1 June; Region 9 on 10 June; Cordillera Administrative Region on 29 June; Region 4-B on 3 July; Region 10 on 3 July; Region 1 on 19 July; and Region 12 on 1 August.


In Region 4-A, Baldoz said the wage board is already meeting today to deliberate on a wage adjustment, while the wage board in NCR has already met last week on two petitions on minimum wage increases filed before the Board.


The DOLE, through its reform measure, the Two Tiered Wage System, made sure that the poverty threshold gaps of the 30 wage rates were closed.


Baldoz said that the wage boards will consult with other government agencies, as well as employers and labor organizations, in their conduct of studies to determine if prevailing wage and socio-economic conditions would warrant wage adjustments, as the wage rules provide.


The DOLE, through its reform measure, the Two Tiered Wage System, made sure that the poverty threshold gaps of the 30 wage rates were closed. The two-tiered wage system, a key reform program of the DOLE, consists of a mandatory floor or minimum wage as a shield for vulnerable workers, and of a voluntary productivity-based incentive scheme to encourage productivity improvement through bipartite, meaning employers and workers, negotiations.


The wage reform measure is aimed at providing more effective protection to low paid workers by setting a genuine floor or minimum wage as well as to encourage productivity and enterprise growth.


Also, last year, the RTWPBs issued 10 wage orders, 11 implementing rules and regulations, and one Advisory on performance-based pay scheme. The 16 RTWPBs also produced 160 regional wage price situation reports and conducted 44 public hearings/wage consultations.


Baldoz has directed the Regional Wage Boards to intensify its review of the regional socio-economic indicators, while adhering to the wage reform framework which calls for regular, predictable, and moderate wage increases.



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