Employers given 3 months to apply new minimum wage

THE Department of Labor and Employment in Northern Mindanao said it will give the business sector three months to implement the new wage order which raises the pay of minimum wage workers beginning last July 16, this year.

The new wage order came after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Northern Mindanao issued wage order no. 19 granting workers an P20 increase of their pay.

Estrella Pahalla, Dole Northern Mindanao assistant regional director, said they will give the business sector 3 months before Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) start inspecting or checking the companies for compliance.

Pahalla, however, said they are expecting an 85 percent compliance or even higher.

"We don't have a figure yet, pero based on past records of compliance sa orders, meron tayong 70-85 percent compliance, and even higher. This is because we have been very massive in our advocacy for the compliance of labor standards in region 10, from public hearings to meetings with our partners," she said.

Pahalla added that so far, its office hasn't received any protests or formal complaints yet for the wage hike implementation.

"There are no protests, and I hope there will be none in the future, because our wage order, before it was issued, it was deliberated on with so much enthusiasm from labor and management sector representatives by the wage board," she said.

"We have weighed the wage increase na hindi magre-react ang workers at employers, ang pinoprotektahan ng labor department in the long run is the employment situation of the region. But the wage board really acted well and did its job, because both sectors that sat down during the deliberation were very happy with the amount that came up," Pahalla added.

Under the new wage order, non-agriculture workers in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan will now earn P338 daily, while agricultural workers in the same areas will now earn P326 daily from P306 daily.

Non-agriculture workers in Malaybalay City, Valencia, City, Gingoog City, El Salvador City, Ozamiz City, Opol, Maramag, Quezon, and Manolo Fortich will earn P331 per day, while agricultural workers in the same towns and cities will also earn P319 daily. For Oroquieta City, Tangub City, Lugait, Laguindingan, and Mambajao, non-agricultural earners will get P323 daily while agricultural workers in the same areas earn P311 daily.

All other areas that are not covered under the categories, including all retail and service establishments employing not more than 10 workers will earn P316 daily for non-agricultural workers and P304 daily for agricultural workers.

The order however does not cover domestic workers or kasambahays under Batas Kasambahay (RA 10361), and workers of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) registered under Go Negosyo Act (RA 10644).

The RTWPB clarified that distressed establishments, or those adversely affected by natural calamities and human-induced disasters might be exempted from the wage increase.