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RTWPB-CAR holds public hearing on wage adjustment in Abra

BANGUED, Abra (PIA) --  “Is there a need to increase wages for minimum wage earners in the Cordillera?”

This was the  hard question during  Public Hearing on Minimum Wage Adjustment for Private Sector Workers and Domestic Workers in the Cordillera Region  held in the province recently. 

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-Cordillera (RTWPB-CAR) led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with partners held the said forum  for dialogue and get feedback from Abrenian business owners and employers on the proposed wage adjustment in the region.

“Year and year out we come, kinakausap namin kayo. Actually hindi masyadong nae-emphasize na ito kasi alam na natin ang sagot. Karamihan magsasabi kailangan itaas ang sahod because pumunta ka lang sa palengke makikita mo na ‘yung nagtataasang presyo ng bilihin,” said  DOLE-Cordillera Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra.

He, however, explained that there should still be a balance between the interest of the labor sector and the employers to avoid negative economic effects including price inflation and reduced labor, among others.

Department of Labor and Empolyment-Cordillera Director Nathaniel Lacambra shares about the minimum wage adjustment during the Public Hearing on Wage Adjustment for Minimum Wage Earners in the Cordillera held at the Señorita Lydia Hotel in Bangued, Abra on September 15, 2023. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

“We often than not go for votation because we seldom come at a consensus which is understandable because of the opposing interests of our sectors,  that’s why we have government in the Board para ma-balance ‘yung economic equation of labor and management,” he said.

During the activity, the Philippine Statistics Authority also presented the regional and provincial situation in terms of price statistics, labor and employment and labor productivity, and the daily minimum wage and the average family monthly income.

PSA Senior Statistical Specialist Bettina Joy Bermillo reported the monthly minimum salary (26 days) and the monthly average poverty threshold (for a family of 5) which is the minimum income needed enough to live in a particular area.

Philippine Statistics Authority Senior Statistical Specialist Bettina Joy Bermillo presents the price statistics including the Consumer Price Index of the food commodity group in Abra during the Public Hearing on Wage Adjustment for Minimum Wage Earners in the Cordillera held at the Señorita Lydia Hotel in Bangued Abra on September 15, 2023. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

In  the Cordillera, with the   current minimum daily basic wage of P400 , the  monthly minimum salary  is  P10,400 which is much lower than the monthly average poverty threshold of P11,793.

Bermillo also shared that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Abra particularly the food commodity group,  has  increased from 115.1 in July 2023 to 119.5 in August 2023.

The CPI is a measure of price change over time of goods or services that consumers experience, and a higher CPI indicates higher inflation. The increasing prices of goods in turn affects the purchasing power of the peso.

“Diay one peso idi  2018, 83 cents laeng ti balor na. So diay piso tayo idi, tatta is only worth 83 centavos. That is the effect of the continuous increase of prices so as time goes by,  bumaba ti balor ti kwarta tayo,” she explained.

Other socio-economic updates such as the price trends of basic necessities and prime commodities, among others were also tackled by partners from the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI), Department of Agriculture, and the local government unit.

A workshop and open forum on the issue on wage adjustment was also conducted as part of the event , the first of a series of hearings to be conducted in the different provinces of the Cordillera.

The RTWPB is mandated to periodically asses wage rates and set minimum wage rates in the region. It is composed of the DOLE Regional Director as ex-officio Chairperson; the regional directors of the National Economic and Development Authority and DTI  as ex-officio Vice-Chairpersons, and two representatives each from the worker and employer sectors. (JDP/JJPM-PIA CAR, Abra)

About the Author

Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor

Cordillera Administrative Region

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