The Department of Labor and Employment has approved the P12 minimum wage increase for workers in the Caraga region effective July 1, 2016.
Former Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz signed the order a day before she turned over the helm to Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Baldoz, who was then chairman of the National Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board, said the “minimum wage earners in Caraga, numbering about 70,000 in over 16,000 small and medium enterprises, will potentially benefit as a result of the newest wage increase and from the immediate correction of wages due to the wage order.
“Upon effectivity, it raises the basic wage in the region by P7, from P268 to P275. Another increase, this time amounting to P5 in the form of cost-of-living allowance, takes effect on 1 October 2016, thereby raising daily minimum wage rate from P275 to P280 per day,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz explained that the new wage order for Caraga will increase workers’ take-home pay to P8,514.81 per month for daily-paid workers with work factor of 365 days; to P7,209.59 per month for daily-paid workers with work factor of 310 days; and to P5,960.33 per month for daily-paid workers with work factor of 258 days.
Baldoz said the new effective daily minimum wage rates in Caraga is higher by P16 than the daily family poverty threshold of P259, noting that all minimum wage levels in the region have been above the poverty threshold per day since 2012.
While the effective labor cost to employers of the new wage order will increase, Baldoz said this will only be slight and that the department has already factored this in its decision to increase the regional minimum wage.
“We are confident employers in the region will be able to bear the cost of the increase as indicated by the increasing compliance of the region with regards minimum wage,” she said.
“With a single minimum wage rate of P275, there is no more distinction for a minimum wage earner whether he/she is working in a plantation or non-plantation establishment, or whether he/she is employed in a retail or service establishment employing 10 or less or more than 10 workers. This is for ease of wage administrations,” Baldoz added.