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169,162 Bicol workers will benefit from wage increase

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY ---- At least 169,162 workers in Bicol stand to benefit from the daily wage increase of P32 approved by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (DOLE-RTWPB), a top DOLE official in Bicol said Tuesday this week. The increase will take effect immediately after the RTWPB Wage Order No. 18 and its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) is published in a widely circulated regional newspaper, according to DOLE Regional Director Ma. Karina Perida Trayvilla. The wage hike will benefit 169,162 workers employed in 34,136 establishments across the six provinces of Bicol, DOLE labor statistics indicate. Trayvilla in an interview said the daily wage hike of P32 will apply to workers of establishments with less than nine employees where they will be paid P280 per day from the present P248. On the other hand, workers in establishments employing more than ten workers will receive an additional P25 daily increase raising their daily income to P290 a day from the prevailing P265 a day. The wage hike will involve 28,257 establishments from the trade and services sector with labor force of 135,036 employees, followed by the industry and manufacturing sector with 5,514 establishments with 31,710 workers while the agriculture sector only accounts for 365 establishments with 2,416 workers, DOLE data show. Trayvilla said of the 34,136 DOLE accredited establishments 31,530 (92 percent) are Micro-enterprises with 90,209 workers; Small enterprises account for 2,494 (7 percent) establishments with 52,358 workers. Only 69 establishments or 10 percent fall as Medium enterprises, with workers numbering 9,740. Forty-three establishments are Large enterprises with 16,860 workers. The MSME sector has been significantly contributing to the country’s inclusive growth rate by accounting for 62.8 percent in terms of job generation in the Gross Domestic Product or GDP while sharing 35.7 percent in Gross Value Added GVA) revenue. GVA is an economic indicator that measures the contribution to an economy of an industry, sector or region. Records of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) show that there are 946,000 enterprises that are engaged in MSME across the country. This accounts for 99.8 percent of the total business enterprises operating in the country. Engr. Jocelyn Blanco, DTI regional director, said that in Bicol over 50,000 individuals, partnership and corporations are engaged in MSME. The latest labor force study of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reveals that as of 2016 survey, Bicol had a total population of 3.9 million with ages ranging from 15 years and above, where 2.5 million of which are in the labor force. Of the 2.5 million in the labor force, 2.3 million, or 92 percent, are employed while only 125,000, or 8 percent, are unemployed, the PDA report said.

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