Difference in amount of raise depends on regional needs
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 in 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 para magkaroon 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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