Cebu City, Philippines. The petitions for the daily minimum wage adjustment in the Region as well as the positions of other sectors and groups concerned were presented and heard during the public hearing conducted last week by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-7), together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7).
Addressing everyone in attendance, DOLE-7 Regional Director and RTWPB-7 Chairman Exequiel R. Sarcauga said that all positions have to be formally presented to the Wage Board in a public hearing, a requirement in fixing wages.
“Prior to the conduct of the public hearing, we already hosted at least four (4) public consultations, where we already gathered prevailing standpoints and positions from labor and management sectors insofar as wage adjustment is concerned,” he said.
The wage hike petitions filed before the office of the RTWPB included the following, namely: (1)
P161.00 daily wage adjustment by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP); (2) P140.00 daily wage adjustment by SENTRO or Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL); and (3) P101.34, P90.61, P86.87 wage adjustments for all workers in the private sector of the Negros Island Region (NIR) filed by the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers’ Union (PACIWU-TUCP).
Mr. Metudio L. Belarmino, Jr. of the Cebu Labor Coalition or SENTRO, took charge in presenting their petition ; while Mr. Arturo Barrit of TUCP discussed and defended their petition before the members of the Board.
Apart from studying said petitions, Sarcauga added, the Board will likewise talk about, discuss, and deliberate on the probable wage adjustment for the domestic helpers or Kasambahay.
“In as much as we want to have an engaging exchange of views and opinions on the petitions filed before the Board, we also appealed to the groups and sectors concerned to not let disagreeing insights and perspectives be a basis and reason for arguments,” said Director Sarcauga.
He assured that the Board is going to weigh all sides, deliberate all positions, and take into consideration all inputs shared.
The industry associations, who sent representatives to present their position papers on the wage petitions involved the following, namely: Confederation of Philippine Exporters Cebu Foundation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT-Cebu); Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Cebu Furniture Foundation, Inc.; Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers (MEPZCEM); Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Panglao Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts, and Restaurants; Bogo-Medellin Corporation (BOMEDCO).
Other sectors represented during the public hearing were the Wholesalers/Retailers Association; Consumers’ Groups; Labor Unions; Famers’ Groups; Transportation Groups; Academe; Construction Industry; Philippine Association of Legitimate Contractors (PALSCON); and Kasambahay Group.
“Wage fixing is deliberately done on a regular basis in order to ensure that the welfare of those in the vulnerable sector is protected. The task now of the members of the Board is to balance the interest of labor and management,” added Sarcauga.
The inputs gathered, he said, will be instrumental for them to be able to arrive at a collective, accurate, and precise decision – something which is beneficial not only to management and labor but also to the entire Region.
He encouraged all interested parties to submit their position papers at the office of the RTWPB within the next seven (7) days after the public hearing.
Currently, Region 7 observes the following daily minimum wage rates:
P353.00 for Class A cities and municipalities involving the Cities of Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and the Municipalities of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Lilo-an, Minglanilla, and San Fernando; P320.00 for Class B cities and municipalities covering the Cities of Toledo, Bogo and the rest of the Municipalities in Cebu Province except the Bantayan and Camotes Islands; P310.00 for the Class C Cities and Municipalities in Bohol and Negros Oriental Province; P295.00 for the Class D Municipalities in Siquijor Province and the Municipalities in Bantayan and Camotes Islands.
For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel S. Taniza- Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at email@example.com