GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Minimum wages in the private sector in Region 12 will receive a daily increase of P35, payable in two installments, an official said Friday.
Eva Lacambra, secretary of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board -12 (RTWPB-12), said by phone that the first tranche of P22 will come into effect on October 16 and P13 on January 1, 2024.
After full implementation, daily minimum wages in the region will be P403 for non-farmer workers and P382 for agricultural/service/retail workers, she said.
The current minimum wage in Region 12 is P368 for the non-agricultural sector and P347 for the agricultural/retail/service sector.
The last time minimum wages were adjusted in the area was September 1, 2022.
During the public consultation, Lacambra said a labor group wanted a P100 daily increase to soften the impact of rising commodity prices in the area.
She added, however, that the RTWPB-12 board decided to grant only a P35 daily increase after considering several factors, including apparently the ability of employers to absorb the wage increase.
In addition to government agencies, the board consists of representatives from the management and labor sectors.
The region’s inflation rate stood at 5.1 percent as of August 2023, down 1.7 percent from 6.8 percent in the same period last year, data from the Philippine Statistical Authority – Region 12 showed.
Lacambra said the daily wage increase “could help ordinary workers cope with inflation in the region.”
The RTWPB-12 also issued Wage Decree No. RB XII-DW-04, granting a monthly increase of P500 to domestic workers in the region. This would bring the monthly salaries of domestic workers to P5,000 in the cities, and to P4,500 in the municipalities.
Region 12, also known as the Soccsksargen region, spans the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, as well as the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Tacurong and Kidapawan.
Lacambra said the wage orders will be published in a general newspaper tomorrow, September 30, and will come into effect after 15 days.
As in any wage order, and as provided in the National Wages and Productivity Commission’s Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, retail/service establishments that regularly employ no more than 10 employees, and those affected by natural disasters and/ or man-made disasters, can apply to the RTWPB for an exemption from the wage increase.
Barangay microenterprises are not covered by the minimum wage law under Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002.
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