Rey Anthony Chiu
Minimum daily wage in Bohol is now pegged at P275.00 following the recent round of additional P20.00 wage increase less than a year after the last increase was ordered. Department of Labor and Employment Bohol information Officer German Guidaben said the increase took effect September 22 and would still be valid despite the absence of a corresponding implementing rules and regulation for the increase. The minimum wage law would always be retroactive, so that those who would not immediately implement the raise would still be bound for the retroactive pay, he explained at the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. Labor unions in the Visayas have asked for an even bigger increase citing the recent surging prices of fuel and basic commodities, which has also greatly affected daily wage earners and their families.
The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board however, in consultations and countless meetings with business leaders and representatives was finally convinced that a new increase was due even if it comes less than a year since the last increase. Increases were supposedly not to happen twice in a year’s time, unless a supervening condition exists, according to the law. Guidaben also revealed that formula to help determine the increases for workers who have already attained the minimum is available at the local DOLE Office. Dole also stressed that since the minimum wage determination is as good as a law, any worker who feels he is not given his rightful pay by his employers can seek DOLE assistance for possible mediation. Over this, the DOLE spokesperson said he hopes the business sector would also be keen enough to see that they would have to adjust wages or face sanctions. The P20.00 increase as determined by the RTWPB was seen as a win-win solution from the initial P125.00 increase demanded by unions.