Gen. Santos City- In order to hear and assess the pulse of the labor and management sectors on the current minimum wage in Region 12, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 12 had successfully conducted the Public Hearing/Consultation on Minimum Wage Issues at Phela Grande Hotel, this city, on 17 October 2019.

The said consultation was attended by 282 participants coming from the labor, management, and the government sectors.

Board Secretary VI, Jessie Dela Cruz, opened the activity with the review of rules and procedures of minimum wage fixing. Board Sec. Dela Cruz explained that major guidelines in setting the minimum wage are as follows: (1) needs of workers and their families, (2) capacity to pay of employees/industry; (3) comparable wages, (4) requirements for national development, (5) investments/employment generation.

“Aside from these factors, the Board also considers Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation rate, and poverty threshold as contributory factors in setting the minimum wage,” added Dela Cruz.

Topics such as Socio-Economic Situationer in Region 12 by Jose Anthony Laurent Octavio from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 12, Price Situationer by Mary Ann Morales from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 12, and the 2018 1st Semester Poverty Statistics by Edward Donald Eloja from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 12, were presented to the participants to give them an additional idea on how a minimum wage can be fixed in a certain region.

DTI 12 Regional Director Dorecita Delima was also present in the public hearing to give information and update on the improving socio-economic situation of the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

Further, DOLE 12 Regional Director Sisinio Cano, chairperson of the Board, emphasized in his message that the Board took the initiative in conducting such  consultation even without a wage petition raised by any labor group in the regions.

“Our public consultation today is on motu propio basisthe Board has decided to review the existing minimum wage in the region even in the absence of wage increase petition,” said RD Cano.

The Board is expected to convene in November to review and to study the position papers submitted by labor and management sectors present during the public hearing. End/CDGamboa