Wage hike for Western Visayas starting June 5

BACOLOD. By June 5, 2022, private employees in Western Visayas like these workers at a mall in Bacolod City will already have a pay raise. (Adrian P. Nemes III)

DESPITE opposition from the business sector, wage orders which provide for a 55 to 110 peso per day increase in the daily minimum wage and a 500 peso per month wage increase for domestic helpers (kasambahays) in the Western Visayas are already approved.

This after it has already been published by the Tripartite Regional Council for Wages and Productivity (RTWPB) in the newspaper of Friday, May 20, 2022.

Articles 5 and 9 of the Wage Ordinances state that its effect is 15 days after the date of publication.

Thus, the increase in wages for private sector workers in the region will come into effect on June 5, 2022.

The effective date of the wage orders was also confirmed to SunStar Bacolod by Wennie Sancho, union representative with RTWPB-Western Visayas.

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, the RTWPB-Western Visayas approved the new wage rates for minimum wage workers in the region.

Under Wages Ordinance No. 26, commercial and industrial or non-agricultural workers will receive 450 pesos per day or an increase of 55 pesos from the current rate of 395 pesos per day.

For those working in establishments with 10 or fewer workers, the approved wage increase is 110 pesos per day. This means that from P310 the daily minimum wage in this category will be P420.

While those in the agricultural sector, workers will receive an increase of 95 pesos per day. From the current rate of 315 PZ, the new rate is 410 PZ per day.

Earlier, Sancho pointed out that a party’s appeal cannot have the effect of suspending the implementation of the wage ordinance.

He reiterated that under Section 5 of Rule IV of the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination under NWPC Guidelines No. 3 of 2020, after consideration of the Wages Ordinance by the commission, the council can henceforth cause its publication.

Section 6 of the said guidelines provided that a wages order was not subject to a petition for review but could be appealed to the NWPC within 10 days from the date of its issuance.

Under Rule V, Section 1 of the Omnibus Rules, in the meantime, an appeal may be made against a wages order issued by the Board by filing a verified appeal brief with the Board within a time not extendable for 10 days from the date of publication. , indicating the ground invoked, the supporting arguments and the remedy sought.

Calling it “bad timing and horrible”, a local business leader said he was considering a possible temporary restraining order (TRO) against the impending implementation of the wage hike in the region.

Frank Carbon, vice president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) for the Visayas, said the move was aimed at avoiding irreparable damage to small businesses and recovery efforts in the region.

Carbon, who is also chief executive of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said small businesses may no longer be able to open up.

On top of that, he said, it will also hurt recovery efforts in Western Visayas, especially to be able to recover economically this year.