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Cebu News

P31 for minimum earners, P500 for helpers: Central Visayas workers get wage hike

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) has approved a P31 increase in wage for minimum earners in all classes in Central Visayas.

This was disclosed by Atty. Nora Analyn Demeterio-Diego, vice president of ALU-TUCP-7, in an interview with dyLA on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Diego and Jose Tumongha, the labor representative to the wage board, also told The Freeman that the board also approved a P500 increase in wage per month for domestic helpers in the region.

The new wage order was approved after deliberation of the wage board, management sectors, and other stakeholders.

Diego said the management sector representatives wanted only a P20 increase in wage but the labor sector objected to it.

Diego said she is thankful for the increase but “this is not enough.”

“I agree with the increase… as of the amount, it should have been higher gyud unta. Ni-sign ko sa resolution with reservation,” Diego told dyLA.

With the increase, the salary of minimum wage workers under Class A will now be P435 daily, P397 for workers under Class B, and P387 for workers under Class C.

The wage order was forwarded to the National Wage Productivity Board for review. The national board is expected to give its feedback on May 26.

The new wage order would then be published in a newspaper of general circulation and will take effect 15 days after publication.

Reaction

Kenneth Co, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said the increase is a fair one.

“I believe it’s a fair increase. It was higher than we expected but our workers also need it. Businesses need to focus now on increasing productivity and output in order to cope with the increase in labor cost so we can maintain our operations without letting go of workers. It is also possible that some businesses will need to increase their selling price to pass on some of the cost,” Co said.

For his part, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Steven Yu said he could not help but worry about the effect of the wage hike to small and medium enterprises.

“While we fully empathize with the workers and labor community on their need for increased income, we are also worried with the MSME sector that will suffer greatly with this development. Both are victims of the pandemic and geopolitical disasters. We foresee some business closures for struggling MSMEs and some downsizing of labor force in general. Availability of jobs will take a hit temporarily. We just hope that the pandemic and geopolitical factors will ease in the near future. We truly live in uncertain times and unprecedented challenges,” he said.

Wage petitions

Five other wage boards in the Philippines have already issued their new wage orders – in the National Capital Region, Region 6, Region 1, Region 2, and Caraga.

It can be recalled that LONBISCO Employees Organization (LEO) represented by its president, Alvin P. Pino; Metaphil Workers Union (MWU) represented by its president, Melchor Atupan; Union Bank Employees Association (UBEA) represented by its president, Nicholou Malazarte; and CELAC represented by Paul Alvin Fajardo and Metudio Belarmino sought for a P308 daily increase in wage for minimum wage earners.

Meanwhile, TUCP asked for a P430 additional from the daily wage while the Alyansa sa mga Mamumuong Kontraktwal sa Sugbo (ALSA Kontraktwal-Cebu) filed a petition to increase the minimum wage in Central Visayas and to assert a P750 national minimum wage in the country.

For Class A areas, ALSA Kontraktwal-Cebu proposed an additional P346 to the minimum wage of non-agricultural workers, and an additional P356 to agricultural workers and workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

For Class B areas, the petition proposed an increase of P384 for non-agricultural workers, and an additional P389 for agricultural workers and for workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

For Class C areas, the petition sought to add P394 to the minimum wage of non-agricultural workers, and an additional P399 for agricultural workers and for workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

All wage increases would total P750 when added to the current wages. — Le Phyllis F. Antojado,  JMO (FREEMAN)

WAGE HIKE

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