EMPLOYERS in Central Visayas who have not yet complied with the existing minimum wage order since its effectivity early last year are mandated to conform with it and pay their employees salary differential.
Workers in the region 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 starting Jan. 5, 2020.
“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 be able to receive the difference between their existing wage rates received and that of the new wage rates based on Wage Order No. VII-22,” said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.
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 per day. Establishments in these areas employing less than 10 workers should be paying workers P394 daily.
Those working under Class B or in the cities not falling under Class A Category should be receiving P366 daily wage and establishments with less than 10 workers should be paying them P361 per day.
Class C municipalities or those municipalities not under Class A Category should have workers paid P356 per day and the workers rendering work in establishments with less than 10 individuals should receive P351.00 daily.
“Establishments in all provinces of Central Visayas should be able to check whether or not they have followed the provisions of the wage order. If they failed to comply with the minimum wage rates applicable in their respective areas, they should now start looking into the salary differential that they must be paying their workers,” Siaton said.
According to RTWPB 7 where Siaton also sits as chairperson, all employers should have followed the provisions of the wage order, which became fully implementable effective Jan. 5, 2020, in all provinces of Central Visayas, including Bohol.
A moratorium or a temporary suspension on the implementation of Wage Order No. ROVII-22 in Bohol was petitioned or filed by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry last year, while the rest of the provinces in Region 7 already implemented the wage order.
Addressing the issue, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), said that RTWPBs and the NWPC don’t have the authority to defer or postpone the implementation of a wage order.
The RTWPB takes charge of wage-fixing and wage rate review and minimum wage determination. According to Siaton, within 60 days prior to the anniversary of the wage order, the Board may start the process of 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,” Siaton said.
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 that it is important to determine whether or not establishments have followed the rules of the existing wage order. (SunStar Cebu/From PR)