By Louine Hope U. Conserva
ILOILO CITY — The wage increase ordered for the Western Visayas region, or Region VI, will be implemented at a later date in Aklan province in consideration of the temporary closure of the resort island of Boracay.
Lawyer Ma. Ailyne P. Valaquio, secretary of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board VI, has confirmed that Wage Order No. 24 was approved on June 8 and will “hopefully” take effect by late July or August after the approval of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).
“Once the commission said it’s a go for publication, we will publish it. The effectivity date is 15 days after publication,” she said.
The wage order approved by RTWPB-VI provides a P13.50 to P41.50 increase with a cost of living allowance (COLA) component.
In Aklan, which includes Boracay, Ms. Valaquio said the new wage rates “will take effect on Nov. 23.”
“It is in consideration of the island’s closure for six months,” she explained.
Under Wage Order No. 24, those employed in non-agricultural, industrial, and commercial firms with more than 10 employees will receive a P26.50 minimum wage hike plus a P15 COLA.
The current rate is P323.50.
For companies employing less than 10 workers, the total pay will increase to P295 from P271.50, with a wage hike of P18.50 plus a P5 COLA.
For agricultural sector workers, including non-plantation employees, the new wage rate will also be P295, including the P5 COLA.
Ms. Valaquio clarified that for the sugar industry, the COLA component will only be effective six months after the issuance of the wage order, which would be in time for the milling season.
The rate adjustment is in response to the petition filed by the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) in January 2018. The union sought a P130 to P150 increase.