Higher wages for ARMM private sector workers

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – Workers in the private sector in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will soon receive higher wages after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) issues its wage adjustments order due this year.

Muslimin Jakilan, ARMM’s Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and chairman of the RTWPB, said the order will be based on Republic Act 6727, otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act, which introduces reforms in minimum wage fixing, specifically the TwoTiered Wage System.

Jakilan said since 2003, ARMM has been adopting a “one-wage, or uniform wage” rate system for minimum wage earners involved in non-agriculture and agriculture employment. Non-agriculture sector jobs refer to those in manufacturing, commercial and academe, while those in the agriculture sector cover plantation and non-plantation farm workers.

“It is about time to issue another order so that workers in ARMM could cope with the current socio-economic condition in the region,” Jakilan said.

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He added the Board is set to decide on the new wage adjustments applying the First Tier, which constitutes the minimum mandatory wage rate in ARMM on Wednesday, January 20, after a series of consultations conducted.

Currently, minimum wage earners in ARMM are receiving P250 daily. “Using the regional poverty threshold as a major reference data for the region, the Board is looking for some strategies to address the prevailing minimum wage gap,” he said.

On top of the mandatory wage adjustments, workers will also receive productivity bonuses and incentives subject to an agreement with their employers as advocated in the Second Tier adjustment scheme, Jakilan added.

As of April 2015, there are more or less 566,945 private workers in the region awaiting a wage adjustment decision from the Board, which is chaired by the ARMM’s Labor Secretary, the Director of the Regional Planning and Development Office and Department of Trade and Industry-ARMM Secretary as vice-chairmen, as well as representatives from the workers and employers.

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