ILOILO CITY — Minimum wage rates in Western Visayas are expected to increase before the end of the year following the regional board’s approval.

Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE)-Western Visayas Regional Director Cyril L. Ticao said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) will submit the new rates to the National Wages and Productivity Commission, a DoLE attached agency, for approval.

Padala pa ni sa (It will be sent to) Manila for approval sang (by the) National Wages and Productivity Commission. After that, i-publish for 15 days so possibly last week of October or first week of November mag-take effect,” Mr. Ticao said in an interview on Tuesday.

Under the new wage order, the daily minimum rate of workers employed in non-agriculture, industrial and commercial businesses with more than 10 workers is set at P395, up by P30 from P365.

Those employed by businesses with up to 10 workers will get a P15 increase to P310.

For the agriculture sector, the new daily minimum wage will be P315 from the current P295.

Existing rates took effect July 12 last year under Wage Order No. RBVI-24.

Mr. Ticao said the RTWPB approved the new rates after holding a review and public hearings on the petition filed by the New Independent Workers Organization based in Negros Occidental last July.

The original petition sought a P60 increase for non-agriculture/industrial/commercial with more than 10 workers, as well as P50 for those with up to 10 workers and in the agricultural sector. A separate rate increase of P80 was also proposed for workers on the tourist island of Boracay.

The Western Visayas RTWPB covers the provinces of Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo, including their respective component cities and the independent city of Iloilo. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo