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DOLE in Bicol says: 176K workers to benefit from daily wage hike

By Connie Calipay

Some 176,000 minimum wage earners in Bicol will receive a P55 increase in their daily income this year, the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 5 (DOLE-5) on Tuesday, May 31 said.

In a press conference, Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita, DOLE-5 director, said the wage increase in the region will be given in two tranches.

“The first tranche -- P35 increase -- will be implemented upon the effectivity of the wage order which will be on June 18, while the second tranche -- a P20 increase -- will take effect on Dec. 1 this year. With this, the new daily minimum wage for workers in Bicol will climb to P365 from the previous P310,” Campita said.

She said the increase shall apply to all minimum wage earners in the private sector regardless of their position, designation, or status and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.

“We need to balance the interests of the workers and the business sectors. Mas mahirap pag marami ang mawalan ng trabaho kaysa sa paunti-unti na increase,” she added.

She said the adjustment of the minimum wage rate is one of the measures by which the government is providing workers with immediate relief from the high prices of the basic goods and services as a result of the pandemic.

“Together with the members of the Board, we also looked into the consumer prices index in the region that rose to 117.6 in April 2022, the poverty threshold as well as the purchasing power of the peso before we came with the P55 increase to be given in two tranches,” she said.

The wage adjustments came as a result of two public hearings in Naga City, Camarines Sur and Legazpi City, Albay attended by some 600 workers and employers.

Meanwhile, Campita said some 94,042 domestic workers in Bicol will receive a new monthly minimum wage of P4,000.

Dante Encinas, Labor representative to the wage board thanked the DOLE-5 for approving the wage increase.

“Our proposal is P90 but because of the negotiation with the employers and government agencies concerned, we came up with P55. It’s a big help for the minimum wage earners,” Encinas said. (PNA)


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