Angelo L. Gutierrez
Baldoz said that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Northern Mindanao yesterday issued a new wage order, granting a P17.00 cost of living allowance (COLA) to minimum wage earners in the Mindanao region.
"The COLA will be integrated in the basic pay after six months," the labor chief announced, adding that the new wage order will take effect before the end of July.
She said that for the first six months, the minimum wage rates in the non-agricultural sector in Northern Mindanao under Wage Category I (including Cagayan de Oro and Iligan; and the municipalities of Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan) will be P286, while those in the agriculture sector will be P274; those under Wage Category II (comprising the cities of Malaybalasy, Valencia, Gingoog, El Salvador, and Ozamis; and the municipalities of Maramag, Quezon, and Manolo Fortich) will be P281; while those in the agriculture sector will be P269.
Non-agricultural workers under Wage Category III (comprising the cities of Oroquieta and Tangub; and the municipalities of Lugait, Opol, and Mambajao) will receive P276, while those in the agriculture sector in the same category will receive P264. Non-agriculture workers under Wage Category IV (areas which are not covered by the previous categories) will receive P271, while those in agriculture sector will receive P259. Wage earners in the sugar agricultural industry, who are covered by Supplemental Wage Order No. RX-15 that took effect on February 17, 2011, will have a minimum wage rate of P259.
Baldoz said that the wage order will apply to minimum wage earners in the private sector in Northern Mindanao “regardless of their position, designation or status, and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.”
She said household helpers and those engaged in personal services, including family drivers, are not covered by the wage order,
The wage board has already issued five wage orders since May 1. Aside from Northern Mindanao, wage increases have also been implemented in Metro Manila, Central Luzon; Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas.