Siaton to businesses: Make sure to adopt Wage Order No. VII-22

By: Doris C. Bongcc - Editor/CDN Digital | January 26,2021 - 10:13 AM

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — The Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (Dole-7)  is reminding businesses here to already comply with the minimum wage order that took effect in the early part of 2020.

A Dole-7 advisory said that those, who have yet to comply with the wage order that was passed in November 2019, should pay the salary differential of their workers computed starting January 5, 2020.

“It means to say that workers, who were not paid with the correct daily wage based on the new minimum wage rates applicable in their area starting 5 January 2020 should be able to receive the difference between their existing wage rates received and that of the new wage rates based on Wage Order No. VII-22,” Dole-7 Director Salome O. Siaton, who also sits as chairperson of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-7), was quoted in the advisory.

The Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the wage order says that violators will be asked to pay fines ranging from P25,000 to P100,000 or imprisonment of not less then two years and not more than four years or both “at the discretion of the court.”

It says that the employer will also be asked to pay “double” the amount of the unpaid benefits and that payment of said indemnity “shall not absolve the employer from the criminal liability…”

A moratorium was earlier ordered against the implementation of Wage Order No. ROVII-22 in the Province of Bohol following a petition that was filed by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

However, the wage order was already in effect in the rest of Central Visayas.

Secretary Silvestre Bello, chairperson of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), already said that the RTWPB and NWPC lacked the authority to defer or postpone the implementation of a wage order.

Under the latest wage order, non-agricultural workers in Class A cities and municipalities or the Expanded Metro Cebu Area should be paid a minimum of P404 per day while those in  establishments employing less than 10 workers should get P394.

Workers in Class B or the cities not falling under Class A Category are to receive P366 per day while those employed in establishments with less than 10 workers should be paid P361 per day.

The Dole-7 advisory said that workers in Class C municipalities or those municipalities not under Class A Category should be paid P356 per day while workers rendering service in establishments with less than 10 personnel should get P351.

“Establishments in all provinces of Central Visayas should be able to check whether or not they’ve abided by the provisions of the Wage Order. In the event that they failed to comply with the minimum wage rates applicable in their respective areas, then they should now start looking into the salary differential that they must be paying their workers,” Siaton said.

While they compel businesses to comply with the wage hike and in compliance with NWPC Guidelines No. 03, Series of 2020 or the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, RTWPB “may begin determining the applicable wage rates through (a) Motu Propio by the Board or when  it initiates actions or inquiry to determine whether or not a Wage Order shall be issued and (b) By virtue of a Petition.”

Siaton said that the RTWB may again start minimum wage determination within a period of 60 days prior to the anniversary of the latest wage order.

“Due to the pandemic, the Board was not able to start the process which was supposed to take place late last year. But since the anniversary of the Wage Order has already lapsed since January 5, 2021, the Board will now look into revisiting and reviewing the existing wage rates applicable in the different provinces in Central Visayas,” said Director Siaton.

But before they should proceed with the conduct of a wage review, Siaton said “it is important to determine whether or not establishments have abided by the rules of the existing Wage Order.” /dbs

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TAGS: Dole-7, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), Siaton, Wage Order No. VII-22

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