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Western Visyas wage board: No 'immediate' salary hike in Aklan

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 6/13/2018 Parco, Bernadette
Graphics by Jannielyn Ann Bigtas © Provided by Mediamerge Corporation Graphics by Jannielyn Ann Bigtas

Considering the temporary closure of Boracay Island in Aklan, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas said there shall be no "immediate" wage adjustment in the area.

Lawyer Johnson Cañete, chairman of the RTWPB Region 6, said the newly approved Wage Order for minimum wage earners in Western Visayas includes a moratorium on the implementation of salary hike in Aklan.

Cañete said the island's six-month closure resulted to non-operation of establishments.

Thus, there shall be no immediate wage increase and provision of cost of living allowance (COLA) in all three barangays of Malay town.

The new Wage Order will take effect there three months after the opening of the island, Cañete said.

"So if the rehabilitation ends in October this year, the effectivity of the wage increase is sometime in January 2019," he added.

On June 11, members of the RTWPB Region 6 signed Wage Order No. 24 setting new wage rates in the region, including COLA of P295 and P365 per day.

The increase range from P13.50 to P41.50 depending on the workers' classification.

Workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees will receive a minimum wage of P365 per day.

From the previous P323.50, the RTWPB Region 6 has come up with an increase of P26.50 on basic wage plus a COLA of P15 or a total of P41.50.

Those employing 10 workers and below, the new wage rate is P295 from only P271.50.

It is derived from an increase of P18.50 plus a COLA worth P5, or a total of P23.50.

In the agriculture sector, plantation workers will receive P8.50 increase and COLA of P5 thus, the new wage rate is P295. This is P13.50 higher than the previous P281.50.

Those in non-plantations, the new wage rate is also P295 from the previous P271.50 due to an increase of P18.50 and P5 worth of COLA, or a total of P23.50.

The effectivity of the new order is expected in August, the soonest is on the 15th.

Aside from Boracay, the Wage Board recognizes the impact of woes in the region's top tourist destination to business operations in the entire Aklan.

Cañete said before the deliberation of the proposed wage hike, some business groups have already appealed to just "slow down" the implementation in Aklan.

"As part of the moratorium, the wage increase will take effect among other areas in the province, not immediately, in November this year to lessen the impact of the closure to the businesses," he added.

Moreover, under Section 8 of the said order, companies may seek exemptions from the implementation of the adjustment as long as they fall into three exceptional circumstances.

These are if establishments are distressed, if they are new business enterprises, or affected by calamities.

Same as the exemptions, any party aggrieved in the new Wage Order may file an appeal at the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) through the RTWPB 10 days after the publication. — BAP, GMA News

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