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PIA Press Release

27% of firms seen to defy new wage order

Davao City (22 January) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) expects more than 27 percent of companies in the Davao region to violate Wage Order No. 11, setting a uniform P14 hike in minimum wages.

The new wages range from P176 to P209.

Regional labor chief Maria Gloria Tango, chairperson of the Regional Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) XI, said many companies tend not to comply with a new wage order. “But once they establish stability, they follow the approved wages,” she said.

She warned violators of sanctions that could lead to imprisonment.

She said she wanted double indemnity as punishment for companies found guilty of wage violations.

She said most violators come from small and medium entrepreneurs.

Tango said of the 1,098 establishments inspected in 2004, it caught some 300 establishments violating the minimum wage law for a violation rate of 27.32 percent.

It recorded a compliance rate of 72.68 percent.

Tango said the new minimum wage rates in the Davao Region have been approved and will take effect on February 5, 2005.

The new wages were set after consultations and dialogues with the different sectors and the conduct of public hearings in Davao City on December 20, 2004 and in Tagum City on December 21, 2004. RTWPB Wage Order No. XI mandates an increase of P14.00 per day in minImum wages.

She said the new daily minimum wage rate varies by sector/industry.

She said in the cities of Davao, Digos, Samal, Panabo and Tagum, the rate for workers in non-agriculture and retail service firms with more than ten people is P209; P199 in plantations; P178 in non-plantations and in retail/service firms with not more than 10 workers.

In the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley it is P207 for non-agriculture and retail service employing more than 10 workers, P197 for agriculture workers in plantations, P176 for non-plantation agricultural workers and those employed in retail/service establishments employing less than 10 people.

Tango said she does not expect many of the companies to immediately comply with the new wage order.

She said they allow exemptions only to distress companies where they are given one year grace period in implementing the new wage order. Also exempted are those described as Barangay Micro-Economic Enterprises. (PIA/pdb) [top]

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