Baguio City – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-CAR) has approved a new Wage Order, RB-CAR-19 on July 20, 2018 increasing the minimum wage rates of workers in the region by P20.00 – P30.00 per day. These increases are added to the basic pay of the workers and not in COLA. Another consideration done by the Board was the integration of the existing P15.00 COLA per day to the basic pay which means there shall be no COLA in the new Wage Order.

These increases into the basic rates plus the integration of the P15.00 COLA to the basic shall take the form of another increase to be enjoyed by our covered workers. They shall be enjoying an increase in the amount of more or less P6.00/day in their other monetary benefits like their 13th month pay, holiday pay, service incentive leave pay, premium pay and an increase in their employer’s contributions to their SSS and Philhealth benefits. In short, our covered workers shall be enjoying an increase not only the P20.00 – P30.00/day increases as mandated by RB-CAR-19 but also the additional P6.00/day, or a total of P26.00 – P36.00/day increases.

The new Wage Order, RB-CAR-19 was an initiative of RTWPB-CAR in the absence of any petition filed by any party seeking for a wage increase. In other words, RB-CAR-19 is a result of a moto proprio action of the Board.

So many factors and data were considered by the Board in approving the new Wage Order but focused on four factors: 1. The results of the Public Consultations and Hearing conducted around the region, 2. The underlying principle that no minimum wage shall be lower than the Poverty Threshold of the region, 3. Result of the Board’s study on the socio-economic condition obtaining in the region affecting the economic needs of the workers, the capacity of employers to pay and opportunity for investments, and 4. Possibility of further simplifying the wage structure aimed at eventually coming up with a single minimum wage rates for all workers in the Cordilleras, a valid suggestion obtained from the consultation done in Kalinga and Apayao.

The members of RTWPB-CAR are Engr. Renerio Lardizabal Jr. and Atty. Milton Balagtey representing the workers’ sector. Engr. Alfonso Lao and Johnny Dela Cruz of the employers’ sector. From the government side, we have NEDA Director, Mila Rimando and DTI Director, Myrna Pablo as vice chairpersons and DOLE Director, Exequiel Ronie Guzman as the chairperson. Augusto Aquillo is the Board Secretary.