Distressed Western Visayas businesses can seek exemptions when wage order final

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Distressed businesses can file for exemptions from the new wage order when it becomes final, Labor Regional Director 6 Sixto Rodriquez Jr. said on Monday, May 16.

It is premature for business groups to file an appeal to the new Western Visayas wage order or for establishments to seek exemptions until it becomes final and effective, Rodriquez, who also heads the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), said.

The RTWPB last week approved a daily wage increase of from P55 to P110 in Western Visayas but it is subject to review by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) before it becomes final.

The NWPC rules state that businesses that can apply for exemption from a new wage order are distressed establishments, new business enterprises, retail/service establishments employing not more than ten workers, and establishments adversely affected by natural calamities.

However, applicants must justify their applications, Rodriquez said.

Rodriguez said the RTWPB approved daily wage is much lower than the P750 sought by labor groups in Western Visayas.

The business sector that is opposed to the wage hike granted began discussions Monday to get a consensus on action they will take, Frank Carbon, vice president for the Visayas of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.

The RTWPB increased the daily wages of employees in private establishments employing 10 workers and below from P310 to P420 or by P110, and for those employing more than 10 workers from P395 to P450 or by P55, Rodriguez said.

It also increased the wages of agricultural workers from P315 to P410, or by P95.*

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