New wage rates for private sector in Region 1 take effect Feb 5

LAOAG CITY – Salaries and wages of workers in the private sector in Region 1 were adjusted with the implementation of Wage Order No. RB1-16 on February 5.

DOLE Regional Director Grace Ursua, chairperson of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-1), said the new wage order sets the minimum daily wage rate in the region from P205.00 to P213.00 and covers the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and the cities of Laoag, Batac, Vigan, Candon, San Fernando, Urdaneta, Dagupan, Alaminos and San Carlos.

Ursua said the new wage order provides for a mandatory floor wage (Tier One) and a voluntary incentive scheme (Tier Two) based on labor productivity and business performance.

“Our new wage fixing tool operates to protect the right of our workers to decent pay and remuneration while encouraging productivity which could redound to the benefit of both the business and the employees,” she said.

The wage order simplifies the wage structure from industry classification to asset size as basis in the classification of establishments, benefitting mainly those who were previously receiving a daily minimum wage of P205 in micro establishments and non-plantation agriculture.

Based on latest data, micro establishments employ around 55.1 percent of the total workforce in the region, or roughly 118,847 workers.

“The purpose of the increase is to adjust the floor wage closer to the present poverty threshold level computed at P227 per day,” Ursua said.

Meanwhile, other workers in non-agriculture sector will receive P9, P11 or P20 increase in their daily wages depending on the company’s asset size.

Excluded from the coverage of the new wage order are household or domestic workers, persons employed in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers and employees of registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with Certificate of Authority pursuant to Republic Act 9178.

The wage order also provides exemption to distressed establishments, retail/service establishments employing not more than ten workers and establishments which have been adversely affected by natural calamities.  Establishments falling under any of the mentioned conditions must file an application for exemption from the coverage of the wage order with the Board or any of the field offices of the DOLE nearest them.

A provision also directs the Board to issue productivity advisories to guide employers in the granting of voluntary incentives under tier two based on productivity and business results. #