|Torrijos Municipal Official and Staff (Photo: Gee-Ann Magdalita)|
Minimum wage workers from the MIMAROPA region will soon enjoy a small increase in daily pay after securing approvals from the local wage board.
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board governing the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan approved on April 29 incremental hikes in daily salaries for minimum wage workers and was published in a newspaper yesterday.
Wage Order No. IV-B-07 increases the salaries of minimum wage earners in the region by increments of at least P5 to be implemented in two to four tranches.
The wage hike stems from a Jan. 21 petition filed by the Association of Minimum Wage Earners and Advocates to increase the basic daily pay by P185.
However, the six-member wage board said that this amount was “unrealistically high” for employers, and could instead bring business decline and worker displacement.
But the same wage order also states that the wage board has decided to “provide workers with immediate relief” to cope with rising commodity costs “without impairing the viability of business and industry.”
As approved, the daily pay for minimum wage earners in the following areas would be increased by P5 by July 3, or 15 days after the publication date.
In select areas in the region, minimum wages will again be raised by another P5 or P7 starting Nov. 1; by another P5-P10 on May 1, 2016; and by P5-P10 in Nov. 1, 2016.
The final adjusted minimum wages by November 2016 would be:
• for those working in companies under the non-agriculture sector with more than 10 employees: P285, from the current P255-P275 depending on the area;
• for those working in companies under the non-agriculture sector? with less than 10 employees: P235, from the current P205-P215 range;
• for those employed under the agriculture sector: P235, from the current P215 or P225 rates;
• and for those working in mining firms: P285, from the current P280.
The wage adjustments will also allow the region to do away with the two-tiered wage system that is currently in place, with the end rates leading up to equal basic pay in every sector in all areas within Mimaropa.
Currently, daily minimum wages in the region vary depending on the industry and location. Wages are highest in Puerto Princesa, slightly higher in the tourist islands of Calapan, Puerto Galera, El Nido and Coron, and lower in the rest of the region.
Though the wage board approved the incremental hike, two members dissented with the decision.
Employers’ representative Osias C. Navarro and Trade representative Joel B. Valera said the approved increase is “not justified” and the tranches assigned were “too short” for firms to adjust the wages.
Firms may choose to file an appeal or exemption to the local wage board and will be subject to evaluation.