DOLE warns Davao employers vs. wage hike violations

The Department of Labor and Employment in Davao Region (DOLE-11) has issued a stern warning against employers who do not comply with the new wage orders in the region.

In a press briefing Wednesday, DOLE-11 Director Randolf Pensoy assured that non-compliant employers to Wage Orders RB XI-DW and RB XI-21 will face charges.

“We are always conducting labor inspection and monitoring activities,” Pensoy said, even as he warned erring employers not to wait for the DOLE inspectors to catch them.

“The wage order is a law and if violated, you will face a fine of up to PHP100,000 or imprisonment of not less than two years,” he said.

The issued wage orders were submitted to the National Wages and Productivity Commission for review and affirmation and will take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Under Wage Order No. RBXI-21, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-11 granted an increase of PHP47 for workers in agriculture, non-agriculture (industrial/commercial and retail/service establishments employing more than 10 workers), and retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers.

The pay hike will be implemented in two tranches -- PHP31 upon effectivity and another PHP16 effective January 1, 2023.

Another PHP15 will be granted to workers in the retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers effective April 1, 2023.

After the full implementation of the wage tranches, the daily minimum wage rates in the region will increase from PHP391 to PHP438 in the agriculture sector; PHP396 to PHP443 in the non-agriculture sector; and PHP381 to PHP443 for retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers.

Also, the RTWPB-11 issued RBXI-DW-02 setting the new monthly wage rate for domestic workers to PHP4,500 or a monthly wage increase of PHP1,500, and PHP2,500 for chartered cities and first-class municipalities and other municipalities.

Around 154,763 workers in private establishments and 64,111 domestic workers in the Davao region are expected to benefit from the minimum wage increases.

In DOLE-11's 2021 annual report, a total of 4,286 or 119.063 percent priority establishments were inspected and monitored for compliance with General Labor Standards (GLS), Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), and OSH on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) across the region.

It was noted that the top GLS violations of the employers are underpayment of wages, non-payment of holiday, and premium pay (rest day and special day); and no records keeping.

Pensoy noted the increased criminal penalty for violators of the minimum wage law and imposed double indemnity for violators vis-a-vis employees as stated under the Republic Act No. 8188, a law that has been in effect since 11 June 1996.

Under the double indemnity rule, employers who refuse or fail to pay the minimum wage prescribed by law shall be required to pay an amount equal to “double the unpaid benefits owing to the employees.”

Source: Philippines News Agency

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