THE NEW minimum wage rates in the Bangsamoro region in southern Philippines will take effect on July 21, according to the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).  

The Bangsamoro Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board granted on May 31 a P16 increase in daily minimum wage in all sectors within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).  

The wage order had complied with the required publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the region, the NWPC said.  

With the increase, the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan will have a daily minimum pay rate of P316 for non-agricultural workers and P306 for workers in the agriculture sector. 

In Cotabato City and the 43 barangays in North Cotabato that are clustered as Special Geographic Area (SGA), the pay hike would bring the new daily minimum rate to P341 for the non-agriculture sector and P316 for the agriculture sector.  

Under the new wage order, any employer that refuses or fails to comply with the pay adjustments may be subjected to penalties under the wage rationalization act, which imposes a fine of P25,000 and up to four years imprisonment.  

In 2019, BARMM issued its first wage order which set a minimum daily wage of P300 for the non-agriculture sector, and P290 for agriculture. 

The Bangsamoro Organic Law provides that “Labor, employment, and occupation” is listed among the “exclusive powers,” or where the BARM government is free to exercise exclusive authority and jurisdiction. — John Victor D. Ordoñez