Two regional boards have issued wage orders in 2014–Baldoz
Two Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards–the RTWPBs of CALABARZON and Central Visayas–have issued new wage orders this year.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday to belie blanket assertions that workers ‘got absolutely nothing’ on Labor Day.
“As early as 21 March, workers in Region 7 received a P13 increase in cost-of-living allowance, or COLA, when the RTWPB-Region 7 issued a wage order which raised minimum wages of private sector workers in the region to a range of P275 to P340 per day,” said Baldoz.
She also said that starting yesterday, 1 May, minimum wage earners in the CALABARZON region will receive a pay adjustment following the issuance of the RTWPB-Region 4-A of Wage Order IVA-16 providing for a P12 per day basic pay increase for minimum wage earners receiving below P267, and a P13 per day Socio-Economic Allowance, or SEA, for minimum wage earners receiving more than P267 up to P349.50.
“The P12 per day basic pay increase will be given in tranches until 1 December 2016, while the P13 per day SEA will be given starting 1 May, the effective date of the new wage order,” Baldoz explained.
Meanwhile, Baldoz said five wage orders to date have already reached their respective anniversary dates. These are the wage orders of the RTWPBs in Regions 3, 4-B, 8, 11, and 12.
“The concerned wage boards in these regions are already in different stages of consultations as basis for a decision on the wage issue,” she said.
She reiterated that in arriving at a decision to adjust minimum wages, the RTWPBs–which are composed of representatives from the labor and employer sectors, as well as representatives of the regional offices of the DOLE, Department of Trade and Industry, and National Economic and Development Authority–monitor the impact of changes in the consumer price index (CPI), or inflation rates, on workers’ purchasing power.
“This is done by comparing real minimum wages upon effectivity of a wage order to its level one year after. This is used as basis for computing the amount needed to restore erosion, if any, in the real minimum wage,” she emphasized.
The CPI is an “indicator of the change in the average prices of a fixed basket of goods and services commonly purchased by households”. In this fixed basket of goods and services, the food component is more heavily weighted than the non-food components, especially for lower income groups, which is the target of the minimum wage.
The NWPC said the change in the CPI is measured by the inflation rate, which in 2013 stood at 2.9 percent at the national level; at 1.6 percent in the National Capital Region; and at 3.3 percent in areas outside the NCR.
As of March 2014, the national inflation rate was estimated at 3.9 percent; 2.9 percent in the NCR; and 4.2 percent in areas outside the NCR. To date, the inflation rate remains well within the inflation target of 3 percent to 5 percent.
Baldoz said that the RTWPBs also consider employer’s capacity to pay; poverty threshold; average wage in the region; Gross Regional Domestic Product; and petitions for wage increase/s as the other bases for minimum wage adjustments.