Angara lauds Caraga, three other regions, on wage hike

Senator Edgardo J. Angara recently lauded four regions in Mindanao, including CARAGA, for implementing their respective wage increases, saying this is an important step in securing the welfare of workers in the region and in attaining progress for resource-potent and labor-rich Mindanao.

"This is a good start in proving the government's commitment to bring socio-economic development in Mindanao and eventually broker for political progress," said Angara.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced this week that the wage board increase in the ARMM, the CARAGA, Northern Mindanao and the Davao regions have been approved to be implemented on all minimum wage-earners in the private sector.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Northern Mindanao has caused P13.00 net increase in employees’ daily minimum wage. The board also integrated into the employees’ basic salary a P12.00 cost of living allowance (COLA).

In Davao region, the daily minimum wage has a P21.00 increase while ARMM employees get a P12.00 wage hike for all sectors. The CARAGA gets a P10.00 increase and their P10.00 COLA is also integrated into their basic pay.
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Angara praised the efforts of the DOLE in executing such wage hikes but called on it and the private sector to further cooperate in increasing wage levels of those who earn above minimum wage level and to expand such wage increase to other regions in Mindanao.

Angara recalled that during the past administrations, the focus of development in Mindanao had been more on what it could offer and less on what its people got.

"Over the past decade there has been no permanent mechanism for the affairs of Mindanao," Angara said, adding: "It is time that we take care of the region not only in terms of peace and order issues; the manpower and natural resources of the region has so much potential for them to spur further progress for the region."

Angara has proposed the Mindanao Economic Development Act (MEDA) to harness the region's potentials for industrial development and make it a hub for economic and trade activities with East-Asian neighbors. (Rafael Alas III/The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer)

Ed's Note: Rafael S. Alas III is a former editor of The Freeman newspaper in Cebu. He is now based in Manila and contributes news articles to The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer)

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