COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Labor and Employment through the Bangsamoro Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board organized Public Consultation on Minimum Wage Fixing including Kasambahay Minimum Wage on Thursday, November 3.

The public consultation held at the Hall 2 of Alnor Hotel and Convention, of this city was seeking to review the existing minimum wage in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao including the minimum wage for kasambahay.

The consultation was attended by representatives of labor and management groups in Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and the Special Geographic Areas of North Cotabato including the government sector in the region.

In his message, Labor and Employment Minister Muslimin G. Sema said one of the difficult decisions to make is to balance the issues and concerns of the two opposing parties – the interest of labor and management.

“I assure you [labor and employer groups] that the decision of the board shall be based on the result of our series of consultations in the different places comprising the BARMM areas,” Sema stressed.

Meanwhile, Trade, Investment and Tourism Minister Abuamri Taddik emphasized the importance of collective decision of the tripartite body on the issues concerning them.

In a data presented by Mr. Mahmur H. Sarail, chief statistical specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority-BARMM, the poverty incidence among families, by province in the BARMM, Lanao del Sur has recorded a significant decrease from 64.2% in 2018 to 7.4% in 2021.

However, the Province of Sulu has the highest record among other provinces with 24.3% decrease from 75.3% in 2018 to 51.0% in 2021. Basilan, Maguindanao, Cotabato City and Tawi-tawi have recorded 66.3%, 40.6%, 35.2% and 15.1% in 2018 respectively and 42.5%, 29.8%, 31.3% and 28.1% in 2021 showing significant improvement except for Tawi-tawi.

Moreover, Atty. Anwar Malang, management representative said the wage fixing is a balancing act of the government to determine decent wage in accordance to the existing data. Malang hoped the board to come up with a decent wage for the BARMM.

On the other hand, Ms. Norlyn Odin, labor representative expressed her gratitude to the Bangsamoro government for providing a venue to manifest their views and positions on wage issues.

It can be recalled that the wage board issued P16.00 wage increase to both agriculture and non-agriculture industries in the region on May 31, 2022 setting the current minimum wage of Cotabato City and the SGA to P341/day and P316/day for non-agriculture and agriculture industries respectively.

Not only in Cotabato City and the SGA, but also the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi with 316/day and 306/day for non-agriculture and agriculture industries respectively.

The wage board will organize a series of public consultation in other provinces of the region before the end of the year. (MOLE-ICD)