100+ CSur establishments violate minimum wage rate—DOLE

Over a hundred establishments in the province of Camarines Sur are not complying with the minimum wage rate specified by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board V - Bicol.

This was declared by DOLE V Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra in a press conference yesterday concerning the new wage order.

Lacambra did not reveal the names of the establishments, but announced that they are now in a watch list that the agency's compliance officers will closely monitor.

He further encouraged employees whose employers are not complying with the minimum wage rate to file a complaint with the DOLE so that the agency may take the appropriate action on the matter.

Lacambra also announced the contents of Wage Order No. RBV-16, which increases the minimum wage of workers and employees in the private sector in the Region by P8, as compared to the rates in Wage Order No. RBV-15.

The Wage Order, which took effect last January 10, specifies different minimum wage rates for workers in non-agriculture establishments and those in the agriculture industry.

Fon-agriculture establishments employing more than ten workers, the rate is now P260, whereas for those employing not more than ten workers, the rate is P236.

For non-agriculture cottage industries, the rate is likewise P236.

P236 is also the rate for the agriculture industry.

Lacambra said that these rates are based on economic parameters supplied by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). These parameters are balanced against humanitarian considerations as well as the viability of business and industry.

According to the Wage Order, the wage rate per day applies to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the Region regardless of their position, designation, or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which they are paid.

The Wage Order does not cover household or domestic workers, persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers of duly-registered Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises (BMBEs) with certificates of authority pursuant to RA 9176.

Furthermore, the minimum wage rates shall be for the normal working hours, which shall not exceed eight (8) hours of work a day."

It will be recalled that in the past, there were different rates for towns and cities, according to whether they are first, second, third, fourth, or fifth class.

The Regional Director, however, explained that they opted to abolish these distinctions because there are negligible differences in the cost of living among these towns and cities.

The wage increase is a response to the Petition for Wage Increase, Recovery of Real Wage and Activation of The Regional Tripartite Monitoring Board, which was filed on August 20, 2013 by the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Pinagkaisang Manggagawa sa Kooperatiba sa Kuryente-Bicol (PMMKB), and the CASURECO I Independent Union of Employees (CINDEUM).

The DOLE, giving due notice to the concerned sectors, conducted Provincial Public Hearings on Wage Issues in the six provinces of the Bicol Region on October 3, 8, 10, 14, 17, and 18.

The Wage Order is issued by virtue of the power and authority vested on the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of Region V under Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act.

Below is the full text of the wage order.