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ED Sy participates in 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference

By: Jerome P. Lucas

           Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy joined the worker, employer, and government delegates in the 103rd International Labour Conference - the International Labour Organization’s highest decision making body - to discuss labour migration, employment strategies, ways out of informality and strengthening ILO Convention 29 on force labour in Geneva, Switzerland last 27May to 12 June 2014.

          Secretary Baldoz served as the Philippine government’s minister in the conference while Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato headed the delegation composed of Executive Director Sy, NCMB Executive Director Reynaldo R. Ubaldo, NCR Regional Director Alex V. Avila, Legal Service OIC-Director Romeo B. Montefalco, Jr. and ILAB OIC-Dir. Saul De Vries.

           In her statement, Secretary Baldoz highlighted fair migration as one of the significant agenda of the conference.  According to her, the Philippines is one of the few countries that ratified  the  UN Convention on the Rights of Migrants  and their Families.

           “The  UN Committee on Migrant Workers recently affirmed  our role as a model  in migration management with commitment  to protect migrant workers’ rights , demonstrated by a strong legal, social, and institutional framework, broad domestic and foreign policy agenda, and leading role  in advancing  migrant workers’ rights at the international, regional,  and bilateral levels,” the  Secretary said during the  morning plenary sitting of the Conference.

          The tripartite constituents of the 2014 Conference critically reviewed actions taken by the member states and ILO in assessing the effectiveness of responses and the options for the future of labor markets.

          ED Sy was tasked to sit in the Technical Committee on Transitioning Informal to Formal Economy. The issue is a significant agenda in developed and developing countries, constitute 40 to 80% of its labor force. Since this item has been subjected under the double discussion procedure, it will again be taken up during the 104th Conference in 2015.

          The Committee members agreed on adopting a framework establishing the framework for facilitating the transition to formal economy with the following purposes: 1) to reduce decent work deficits; 2) to reduce unfair competition between enterprises; and 3) to protect revenue to build national social protection floors.

          To effectively facilitate the transition, ED Sy believes that the adoption of policy-based approach should be applied considering the fact that in most cases, informality is an “issue of governance.” That is through establishing legal and regulatory framework, stable macroeconomic environment, and the provision of incentives for the informal enterprises.

          As part of the DOLE’s commitment to pursue the global initiative in the transition of informal to informal economy, the following recommendations may be undertaken: 1) simplifying/reviewing the processes for availing livelihood and training programs; and 2) facilitating the easy access of livelihood beneficiaries and MSMEs to available DOLE training and capacity-building programs including convergence programs.

          The ILC also discussed the Force Labour Convention (No. 29) considering many people in the world are forced to do work or service against their will.  The Convention has been ratified by 170 states and obliges governments to “suppress the use of forced or compulsory labour in all its forms within the shortest possible period.”

           The ILC is held every June and participated by 185 ILO member states.  

Posted: July 21, 2014

RTWPB XII approves wage increase

By: Jerome P. Lucas

          
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board issued on 04 June 2014 Wage Order No. RB XII-18 which granted a P5.00 hike in the region’s minimum wage. The new minimum wage rates shall apply to all minimum wage earners in the region regardless of position, designation or status, and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.

            Upon effectivity of the wage order, the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) under the previous wage order shall be integrated into the basic wage. On 01 January 2015, minimum wage earners will receive the additional P5.00 COLA.

            The new wage order reduced the number of minimum wage levels in the region from five to three, bringing the minimum wage for the non-agriculture to P275.00 while workers in agriculture and retail/service establishments will receive P257.00 and P255.00 respectively.

Exempted from the applicability of the wage order are: 1) establishments with total assets with not more than P3M, and which establishments are not registered as Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs); 2) distressed establishments; and 3) establishments adversely affected by calamities such as natural and human-induced disasters.

            The wage order will take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication.  

Posted: July 10, 2014

 

 

New Minimum Wage Set in Davao Region

      Starting June 1, 2014, the new minimum wage in Region XI will be P312.00 per day for workers in non-agriculture and in retail/service enterprises employing more than 10 workers.   In agriculture, the new minimum wage will be P302.00 per day and in retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers, P281.00 per day.

      Wage Order No. RB XI- 18, issued May 7, 2014 provides for an P11.00 per day basic pay increase and a P15.00 COLA integration. Further, minimum wage earners will receive an additional P5.00 COLA per day effective December 1, 2014.   The Wage Order does not allow exemption from the payment of minimum wages.

      “The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board - Region XI unanimously decided to grant the new wage adjustments in line with the full implementation of the two-tiered wage system (TTWS) by raising the lowest statutory wage rate in the Region to a level above the poverty threshold”, said Director Joffrey Suyao, Board Chairman of RTWPB-XI.  

Wage Order No. RB XI-18 was published on May 17, 2014 at the Sunstar Davao.

Posted: June 11, 2014

Labor Day Celebration Salutes Filipino Workers

      “Sa araw na ito, nagpupugay tayo sa kanilang sipag, tiyaga, at dedikasyon hindi lamang bilang manggagawa, kundi bilang mamamayang Pilipino --- matatag, mapagpunyagi, at tunay na maasahan.” This was the core message of Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz for this year’s Labor Day Celebration.
           
      As in the previous celebrations, the DOLE organized job fairs to facilitate and speed up the search process job seekers.  In the National Capital Region, 17 job fairs were conducted; the biggest of which was held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
           
      May 1 also marked the effectivity of Wage Order IVA-16, providing for a P12.00 per day (basic pay) increase, to be given in tranches from May 2014 to December 2016 to minimum wage earners receiving less than P267 per day.  Meanwhile, a   P13.00 socioeconomic allowance (SEA) per day shall be given to  minimum wage earners receiving more than P267 up to P349.50.   This brings the range of minimum wages in non-agriculture to P261 to P362.50.
           

The Wage Order does not allow exemption.

Posted: June 11, 2014

Workers’ Welfare & Social Protection Cluster holds first 2014 meeting

      The WWSP cluster headed by Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III convened the cluster’s 2014 initial meeting in Tagaytay last May 12-13.  Purpose of the meeting was to assess the first quarter cluster performance and to formulate catch up plans to respond to gaps in program implementation.

      On the part of the  NWPC, catch up plans were developed for the following programs: (i) issuance of guidelines for setting minimum wages for domestic workers and advisory on competency based pay schemes  (ii)  issuance of advisories and documentation and assessment of its implementation and (Iii) development and deployment of productivity training modules for DOLE livelihood beneficiaries.

Posted: June 11, 2014

NWPC participates in the social audit by Verite Southeast Asia

      Mr. David Errington of  Verite South East Asia visited the DOLE last May 6 to interview concerned DOLE agencies in line with their Emerging Markets Research Project on Labor Conditions in the Philippines by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS).
A regular activity of Verite, the social audit focused on freedom of association and collective bargaining, child labor, forced labor and equality/discrimination, health and safety, wages and hours of work.  The DOLE team headed by Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato was composed of the heads of the following agencies: BLR, BWC, BWSC, ILAB and NWPC.

      On gender pay gap, Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy explained that the average wages of women have surpassed those of  men beginning 2010. She added that across major industry group, this trend was noted in fishing, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas and steam and airconditioning supply and construction.  By major occupation group, the same pattern was evident among farmers/forestry workers and fishermen and officials of government and special interest organizations, corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors and supervisors.

Posted: June 11, 2014

The Minimum Wage issue on GNN’s General Assignment

      Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy and DED Patricia P. Hornilla guested on GNN’s General Assignment last May 14 to discuss the minimum wage policy, its implementation and related labor market issues.  The show, hosted by Mrs. Miguel Gil also invited TUCP’s Spokesperson Mr. Alan A. Tanjusay to clarify the labor sector’s position on the wage issue.

      Directors Sy and Hornilla discussed the policy goal, mechanisms and procedures of minimum wage setting as well as the implementation of the two-tiered wage system.  On the issue of across-the-board wage petitions, Mr. Tanjusay explained the bases for their petitions particularly their plans to file a petition for a P135 daily wage increase in NCR.

Posted: June 11, 2014

RB CARAGA conducts Wage Clinics

      In preparation for the anniversary of Wage Order No. 12 on May 21, 2014, RTWPB - CARAGA Chairperson  Atty. Johnson G. Cañete initiated a series of wage clinics in the four provinces of the region from April 10 to 29, 2014.
Dir. Cañete emphasized the importance of attending wage clinics in terms of keeping abreast with developments in the implementation of wage and wage-related policies. 

      Resource persons from the Regional Board discussed the following topics:  1)  2015 ASEAN Integration; 2) Barangay Micro Business Enterprise Law d; 3) Labor Law Compliance System; and 4) Two-Tiered Wage System and Productivity by RTWPB-CARAGA.    The open forum after the presentations allowed the participants to seek clarification of issues related to the topics discussed.

      The Regional Board took advantage of the presence of more than 150 firms  by conducting a survey on the participants’ view of the region’s business outlook,  knowledge of productivity concepts, wages and labor laws.   The survey results will serve as inputs towards strengthening its advocacy initiatives for the programs of the DOLE.

Posted: June 11, 2014

Region XII conducts Public Consultation on TTWS and Wage Issues

      A public consultation focusing on the Two-Tiered Wage System and the attendant wage issues was conducted by RTWPB-12 on 28 April 2014 in Phela Grande Hotel, General Santos City for some 130 participants from labor and management sectors.

      NEDA-XII Regional Director Arturo G. Valero presented the region’s socio-economic situation while Ms. Mary Ann Morales of DTI-XII reported on the trend in prices of basic commodities for the  1st quarter of 2014.  Updates on the supply and price of agricultural commodities for  the 1st quarters of 2013-2014 were presented by  Mr. Vicente Villareal of BAS-XII.  RTWPB Board Secretary Jessie dela Cruz, meantime, discussed the policy and implementation strategy for the TTWS.  Chairperson Ofelia B. Domingo gave an overview of the consultation and discussed the possible impact of 2015 ASEAN Economic Community Integration.

The Board issued its Wage Order on April 18, 2012.

Posted: June 11, 2014

HRD Convergence program for the sugar industry

      The BWSC created a DOLE Technical Working Group composed of  BWC,  BLE  and attached agencies TESDA, OSHC, NWPC, PRC  and ILS to develop a Human Resource Development (HRD)  Master Plan in the Sugarcane Industry under DOLE’s HRD Convergence Program.   The plan should define interventions for human resource development such as capacity building, skills training and strengthening of institutions to enhance the industry’s workforce to actively contribute to the industry’s growth.

      On the part of the NWPC, its representative Ms. Elvira Prudencio apprised the group of the existing productivity training programs which can be readily deployed to workers in the sugarcane industry.  She added that RTWPB-VI will be issuing an advisory on the adoption of productivity based pay schemes for workers in the sugarcane industry, recognizing its contribution to the region’s economic output, income and employment.

Posted: June 11, 2014

Crafting of Wage Advisory of RTWPB-I

      The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Ilocos (RTWPB-I) is currently crafting its advisory on productivity incentive schemes for the tourism industry in accordance with the two-tiered wage system, with assistance from the NWPC.  

      In a meeting held for the purpose, the NWPC discussed the framework, content and the procedures for crafting the advisory.   A major concern that surfaced is the unavailability of region and industry-specific data, particularly for the hotel industry.  RTWPB Chairperson Grace Ursua recommended to consult the Hotel- ITC as source of statistical data and other relevant information as inputs to the advisory.

      DTI Regional Director Florante O. Leal raised the importance of creating labor management committees (LMCs) at the workplace as the mechanism for developing and implementing productivity-based pay schemes.  Labor Rep. Eliseo P. Flora supported this view and emphasized that the committee should be able to clarify the design of the incentive scheme which, in turn, should be properly communicated to the workers to avoid disputes.

Posted: June 11, 2014

 

Implementation of Productivity-Based Incentive Schemes for the
Banana Industry in Davao Region

      Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-XI is encouraging companies in the banana industry in Davao Region to adopt Advisory No. RB XI-01 to enhance efficiency and promote greater productivity of its employees.

      The Advisory on the Implementation of Productivity-Based Incentive Schemes for the Banana Industry aims to guide enterprises in the industry on a range of productivity incentives, which may be the basis for employer initiatives and enterprise negotiations.  The Advisory focuses on the Cavendish Banana Industry, being a priority industry, a top exporter and contributor to the economic output of Davao Region. 

      Advisory No. RB XI-01 recommends a 1% increase in productivity based incentives considering that there has been an average 0.80% increase in demand for Cavendish bananas over the past five years, with prospects of new markets for the industry based on data from the Plant Quarantine Service of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture.

      Accordingly, the application of the Advisory is voluntary and at the firm level. However, once agreement is reached on the grant of productivity incentives, it becomes mandatory for management to pay the same in the manner, amount and frequency agreed upon. 

The Advisory was published last March 19, 2014 in Sun Star Davao.

Posted: June 11, 2014

NWPC prepares Productivity Enhancement Program for DOLE Livelihood Beneficiaries

      “Our mission is to help livelihood activites transform from informal to formal.”  Quoting Secretary Baldoz’ earlier instructions, this was the gist of the message of Executive Director Maria R. Criselda to the participants of the workshop on the productivity training modules for DOLE livelihood beneficiaries held at the NWPC Conference Room on 28 April 2014.

      As a background, DED Patricia P. Hornilla said the development and deployment of a productivity training module for DOLE livelihood beneficiaries is the NWPC’s commitment under  project “Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda” (RAY).  Project RAY is a strategic plan on the recovery and reconstruction of the provinces affected by typhoon Yolanda.  Towards this end, the DOLE, DOST, DA and DTI entered into a  Memorandum of Agreement committing to jointly assist affected workers and communities through the provision of technology-driven and resource-based livelihood interventions.  

      Ms. Amelia C. Kakazu and Ms. Lourdes M. Secillano  presented the training modules covering basic productivity concepts, 5S of Good Housekeeping, Stock Control, and Bookkeeping.     Among the feedback given by the participants were the need to laymanize further the language used; simplification of modules; include more visuals in the presentation materials and; use of illustrations that are based on the situation and experiences of livelihood  beneficiaries.  

      In closing, DED Jeanette T. Damo said the selected NWPC productivity specialists will be called upon to augment the training pool to immediately respond to requests from DOLE livelihood beneficiaries.

Posted: June 11, 2014

NWPC amends rules of exemption from the Wage Order
to include human, weather-induced disasters

      The NWPC recently issued NWPC Resolution No. 01 Series of 2014 otherwise known as “Resolution Amending NWPC Guidelines No. 2 Series of 2007 as Amended”, to better provide relief to establishments affected by calamities starting June 3, 2014.

      The Resolution was published last May 19 at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The move to amend the rules was prompted by the series of calamites that occurred in 2013 adversely affecting business enterprises and workers’ livelihood.  It essentially relaxes the procedural and documentary requirements for seeking exemption from minimum wage by establishments adversely affected by natural calamities.

      “Extreme weather and natural calamities and human-induced disasters affect business operation and results in establishments experiencing temporary difficulties due to losses necessitating government to step in and extend urgent assistance,” Resolution No. 01 Series of 2014 stated.

      Among others, the Resolution provides that all Wage Orders without a provision for exemption shall include the statement: “that in case, of a calamity, the Board may accept applications for exemption from establishments adversely affected by calamities such as natural and/or human-induced disasters”.

      Further, in cases of severe damage to properties caused by the calamity, the submission of Certification by the Barangay and pictures of the damaged property/es may suffice in lieu of audited financial statements.

      The Resolution also provides that if a calamity strikes after the 75-day filing period from the date of the publication of the Implementing Rules of a Wage Order, the Board may re-open the filing period for exemption.  In case a Wage Order does not allow exemption or has no exemption provision, the Board may still accept applications for exemption from establishments severely affected by calamities.

For further information, please call the NWPC at (02) 527-8011 or 572-8012.
by Julie C. Llorente]

Posted: May 29, 2014



PNoy reappoints six Regional Board Members

      President Benigno C. Aquino, Jr. has reappointed six Employers’ and Workers’ Representatives to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) of Regions CAR, 3 and 11, Malacañang’s official letter dated May 5 announced.

      Re-appointed for another five-year term are: Hon. Alfonso T. Lao, Hon. Juan Johnny Dela Cruz and Hon. Renerio C. Lardizabal of RTWPB-CAR, Hon. Raul C. Remodo of RTWPB-III, Hon. Bienvenido Cariaga and Hon. Rulfo V. Asis of RTWPB-XI.

      Lardizabal and Remodo were nominated by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines while the four employer representatives were nominated by the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines.

       “We congratulate our Board Members on their re-appointment.  The full representation of our social partners in our 17 Regional Boards is vital to the exercise of their policy and program review functions on matters relating to wages, income and productivity.” 

      The re-appointed sectoral representatives shall take their oath of office with Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz as NWPC Chairperson.

      Each Regional Board is composed of the DOLE Regional Director as chairperson, NEDA and DTI Regional Directors as vice-chairpersons, and two members each from workers and employers sectors who are appointed by the President of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

by Mackay

Posted: May 29, 2014

 

Davao hotels, restaurants workforce trained in error-free service

      Hotels and restaurants in Davao Region got a boost after undergoing the Service Quality training by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards of Region XI (RTWPB-XI), on April 25 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City.
The training, participated by 33 workers of 22 hotels and restaurants in the region, helped the participants develop and enhance necessary knowledge and skills so they can provide “error-free” service to locals and tourists visiting the region.

      The training featured lectures on practical tools and ideas for improved service and workshop activities for identification of customer expectations, setting standards, enhancing teamwork and work values. The participants formulated a service quality improvement plan for implementation in their respective companies and to be monitored by RTWPB.

      Service Quality training program is a program by NWPC and RTWPBs which is aimed at enhancing the workforce knowledge and skills to create an “error-free” service to clients. To know more about the program, please contact NWPC at 527-8013 or the nearest RTWPB office in your area.


Board Secretary Ruby Badilles giving an overview of the Service Quality
Training Program held on April 25, 2014 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Posted: May 27, 2014

 

Region 4-A wage board approves wage hike and
productivity- based pay guidelines for CALABARZON workers

      Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Region IV-A (RTWPB-IVA), has approved a new wage order providing for a P12.00 per day basic pay increase for workers receiving less than P267.00 per day and a P13.00 per day socio economic allowance (SEA) for workers receiving more than P267.00 up to P349.50 per day.  The new Wage Order does not allow exemptions.

      The P12.00 basic pay increase for workers receiving less than P267 shall be given in tranches until December 2016 (which means a P4.00 – P6.00 per day increase per tranche).

      The P13.00 SEA shall be given to workers receiving above P267.00 up to P349.50 upon effectivity of the Wage Order.   The payment of the SEA follows the “no-work, no-SEA” policy.  The SEA shall be included in the payment of holiday pay and separation pay but excluded in the payment of overtime pay, premium pay, nightshift differential, 13th month pay and retirement pay.

      Once the new wage order takes effect on May 1, 2014, the highest minimum wage in the region will be P362.50.  By 2016, the lowest minimum wage will be P267.00 as a result of the increases granted for those receiving below P267.00.

      The new wage order shall apply to all minimum wage workers and employees in private establishments regardless of their position, designation, or status of employment and method of payment of their wages.  It also applies to all workers paid by result, including those paid on piece work, takay, pakyaw, or task basis, and to seasonal or temporary workers, but not to domestic workers, persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers, and workers of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises.

      "The decision to adjust minimum wages of workers in CALABARZON was based on  the Board’s assessment of the region’s socio-economic conditions, such as regional domestic output; net employment; and poverty incidence.   The Board also considered the need to promote and generate long-term investments and quality employment as CALABARZON's economy continues to pick up," said Baldoz.

      "The Board also issued the Advisory Guidelines on Productivity/Performance-Based Pay, to encourage workers and management within an enterprise to agree to implement productivity improvement programs and share in the gains realized”,  Secretary Baldoz explained.

      The advisory recommends the creation of a productivity improvement and incentive committee (PIIC), with equal representation from workers and management,  that will design and implement productivity improvement programs and mechanisms for the grant of productivity-based pay.

      "The PIIC will determine and recommend the mechanics and procedures for the grant of   productivity-based pay, such as the amount, performance standards, criteria, coverage, frequency and manner of payment," said Baldoz.

      Baldoz assured that the DOLE Regional Office 4-A and its RTWPB will provide the necessary technical assistance to companies in the development of productivity improvement programs for purposes of implementing the advisory guidelines on productivity-based pay.

Click here to download Wage Order No. IVA-16

Posted: April 11, 2014