MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Labor groups in the Ilocos Region have lauded the wage increase implemented on June 6, saying it is timely amid the increasing prices of goods.

Catherine Pangan, the labor group representative in the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-Ilocos Region, said in a phone interview on Friday, “Nagtanong tanong tayo sa ating mga kasamahan at parehas sila ng sinasabi na malaking tulong ito bagaman masasabi natin na kulang pa ito subalit sapat na din pandagdag sa mga tumataas na pangangailangan (We asked our colleagues and they share the same sentiment that it is a huge help but still insufficient, although just enough to augment for the increasing needs).”

She noted that the additional PHP30 in the minimum wage of employees in the Ilocos Region mostly goes to their expenses in fares or gas.

“Although they are happy that there is an increase in the minimum rate and we are hoping that the economy would be able to fully recover and the wage of employees would also increase more,” she said.

Pangan said they explained to the employees that the salary increase would be given in tranches since the micro, small, and medium enterprises would have difficulty giving a one-time wage hike.

“We hope we would all overcome the challenge of the pandemic’s effect,” she said.

The minimum wage rate in the Ilocos Region was set at PHP370 for non-agricultural enterprises with 30 or more employees, PHP340 for enterprises with 10 to 29 employees, and PHP312 for those with one to nine employees.

For the agricultural sector, the minimum rate is now PHP312 for non-plantation and PHP325 for plantation.

For domestic workers, the minimum monthly salary is now PHP5,000. (PNA)