Employers told to comply with minimum wage law

CEBU CITY, Feb. 1 (PIA) -- Employers in all parts of Central Visayas who have not yet complied with the existing Minimum Wage Order since its effectivity last year are mandated to conform with it and pay their employees salary differential.

According to Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, regional labor communication officer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7), based on the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-7), all employers should have abided by the provisions of said wage order.

Full implementation of the wage order took effect on Jan. 5, 2020 in Region 7. 

Central Visayas workers whose employers did not conform to the prescribed minimum wage rates under Wage Order No. ROVII-22, are expected to get paid with their salary differential beginning Jan. 5, 2020. 

“It means that workers who were not paid with the correct daily wage based on the new minimum wage rates applicable in their area starting Jan. 5, 2020 should have received the difference between their existing wage rates received and that of the new wage rates based on Wage Order No. VII-22,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome Siaton, who sits as RTWPB-7 chairperson.

A moratorium or a temporary suspension on the implementation of Wage Order No. ROVII-22 in Bohol was filed by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry last year, while the rest of the provinces in Region 7 have implemented the order already. 

Addressing the issue, DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), emphasized that both the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards and the NWPC have no authority to defer or postpone the implementation of a wage order.

Under Wage Order No. VII-22, non-agricultural workers in Class A cities and municipalities or the expanded Metro Cebu Area should be paid P404 a day.

Establishments in these areas employing less than 10 workers should pay workers at P394 per day.

Those working under Class B in the cities should be paid with P366 daily wage and establishments with less than 10 workers should pay these workers at P361 a day.

Workers in Class C category municipalities are to paid P356 per day and establishments with less than 10 workers should receive a P351 daily wage.

"Establishments in Central Visayas must check whether or not they have abided by the provisions of the Wage Order. In the event that they failed to comply with the minimum wage rates applicable in their respective areas, they should now start looking into the salary differentials that they must be paying their workers," said Salome. 

She added that within 60 days prior to the anniversary of the Wage Order, the Board may start the process of minimum wage determination.

The RTWPB takes charge in wage fixing and wage rates review and minimum wage determination.

“Due to the pandemic, the board was not able to start the process which was supposed to take place late last year. But since the anniversary of the Wage Order has already lapsed since Jan. 5, 2021 the board will now look into revisiting and reviewing the existing wage rates applicable in the different provinces in Central Visayas,” said Siaton.

Based on the NWPC Guidelines No. 03, Series of 2020 or the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, the Wage Board may begin determining the applicable wage rates through (a) Motu Propio by the Board or when it initiates actions or inquiry to determine whether or not a Wage Order shall be issued and (b) By virtue of a Petition.

Before any review is done, Siaton said it is important to determine whether or not the establishments have abided by the rules of the existing wage order.

She urged employers to check their compliance with the minimum wage law and make sure to pay workers with salary differential if they have not yet complied with the wage order. (jsme/PIA-7/with reports from DOLE-7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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