Dif­fer­ence in amount of raise de­pends on re­gional needs

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Ros­alie O. Abatayo and Morex­ette Marie B. Er­ram

Dif­fer­ent re­gions have dif­fer­ent needs, thus the dif­fer­ences in the amount of the in­crease in min­i­mum wage ap­proved in dif­fer­ent re­gions.

“That is dif­fer­ent per re­gion. They are as­sessed on what’s best for re­gion six and that came out. For us, we as­sessed and bal­anced the ca­pac­ity to pay of the em­ploy­ers and the needs of the la­bor­ers and we came up with P20.” said De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE-7) Re­gional Direc­tor Alvin Vil­lamor who chairs the wage board in Cen­tral Visayas.

The Re­gional Tri­par­tite Wages and Pro­duc­tiv­ity Boards (RTWPB) of Western (Re­gion 6) and Cen­tral Visayas (Re­gion 7) ap­proved a new wage order on Mon­day, June 11.

RTWPB-6 ap­proved a P41.50-min­i­mum daily wage hike while RTWPB-7 only agreed on a P20 in­crease.

“Sa opin­ion namin, sagad na yung P20,” Vil­lamor told CEBU DAILY NEWS. (It is our opin­ion that P20 is the most we can give.)

Ac­cord­ing to Vil­lamor, la­bor groups ini­tially wanted a P74-wage in­crease but the em­ploy­ers sec­tor was only will­ing to give a P15-in­crease.

Vil­lamor pro­posed the P20 in­crease on their third de­lib­er­a­tion on June 7, which was ap­proved by the board on June 11, in an ef­fort to make both sec­tors meet half­way.

Jaime Pagli­nawan, Kilu­sang Mayo Uno- Cebu Chair­man, said that the dif­fer­ence in the wage order is an in­sult to the work­ers i n Cen­tral Visayas.

“Kung moin­gon ka nga ekonomikan­hon nga kalam­buan, mas daghan ang sa re­gion 7 kung ikumparar sa Western Visayas pero sila makahimo sa pag­pataas sa in­ad­law nga suholan,” said Pagli­nawan.

(If we look at eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, there is so much more in Re­gion 7 com­pared to Western Visayas but they can still af­ford a higher daily wage hike.)

Pagli­nawan said, the P20 wage in­crease is a concrete ex­am­ple of the in­com­pe­tence of the wage board to pro­tect the wel­fare of the work­ers.

“The wage board only acts on the pe­ti­tion filed by the la­bor groups but they don’t as­sess the real needs and state of the work­ers,” Pagli­nawan said.

He said that RTWPB should re­al­ize that the strat­i­fi­ca­tion of the wages in the dif­fer­ent parts of the re­gion is not a ra­tio­nal de­ci­sion.

Vil­lamor said that they re­spect the sen­ti­ments of the la­bor sec­tor. How­ever, he ex­plained that the de­ci­sion that they came up was nec­es­sary for the la­bor and em­ployer’s sec­tor to sur­vive.

“May kara­p­atan na­man sila kung ano yung nararam­daman nila. Nir­ere­speto na­man namin yan. Pero tra­baho namin na tingnan na ma­n­atil­ing bukas ang mga es­tab­lish­ments para­m­agka­roon ng em­ploy­ment. Sa tin­gin namin, kung masyadong mataas yung magig­ing wage order namin, baka magsarado ito lead­ing to re­trench­ment,” said Vil­lamor.

Mean­while, Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña urged the la­bor de­part­ment to create pro­grams that would spread de­vel­op­ment in the ru­ral ar­eas.

“Why don’t they create more jobs in the coun­try­side? The way it is now, they have to come to Cebu City. Now, you want to work in Cebu City, you have to pay P2,000 a month just to sleep on a bed,” he said.

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