By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Cordillera Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board’s (RTWPB) Wage Order No. RB-CAR-20 on October 1 raised the daily minimum wage in the summer capital to P350 (from 320), effective on November 18.
Workers in Tabuk City in Kalinga province and La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet, a vegetable trading center, will be entitled to the same minimum wage raise.
The rest of the Cordillera towns in Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao and Abra will get a P340 minimum wage, which is based on the prevailing poverty threshold computation used by the RTWPB.
The threshold is the minimum income required by a family or an individual to buy basic food, clothing and spends on housing, transportation, health, and education, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
According to the PSA data, the Cordillera poverty threshold for the first half of 2018 was P12,352 per capita, which means that “an individual needed a minimum monthly average income of P2,059,” while a family of five required a minimum monthly income of P10,293 “to be considered not poor.”
The wage hike does not benefit personal drivers, domestic workers, and employees of microenterprises who are covered by other wage laws.
“Private educational institutions that have not increased their tuition fees for the school year 2019-2020 may defer compliance with their wage rates… until the beginning of the school year 2020-2021,” the order says.
Exequiel Guzman, Cordillera director of the Department of Labor and Employment, said the wage board decided to simplify the wage order for easier implementation. The board plans to issue a uniform wage order for the entire region by 2020. In May next year, the cost of living allowance (Cola) will be included in the basic pay. # nordis.net