TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) -– The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) has announced on Monday the effectivity of Wage Order No. 18, the first take home pay adjustment after the 2013 super typhoon.

RTWPB Secretary Florencio G. Aguilos, Jr. said the new order, approved by the regional board on February 24, was published in a local paper on March 15, 2014. Under the law, adjustment takes effect 15 days after its publication.

Under the new wage order, the wage body raised the pay of workers by integrating part of the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) into the basic wage in all sectors except the sugar industry.

“We urged employers to voluntarily comply the order starting March 30 and pay the rate to workers since this is our basis for assessment,” Aguilos said.

For the non-plantation sector of the sugar industry, the RTWPB granted an increase of PHP14.50 to bring the lowest daily minimum wage range to PHP235 from PHP221.

Wage Order No. 18 added the PHP15 COLA under Wage Order No. 16 issued in May 2011 to the basic wage, raising it to PHP235 to PHP262 a day for different sectors.

All minimum wage workers will still receive the PHP7 COLA granted under Wage Order No. 17, which was issued in September 2012.

The biggest adjustment was the wage for non-plantation sector of the sugar industry at P14 daily. It will be implemented in two tranches with PHP7.50 upon effectivity and the remaining PHP7 on May 1, 2015.

Workers in the retail and service sector employing 10 workers and below are entitled to an additional PHP6 increase in the basic pay.

The RTWPB will finalize the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on Tuesday and will be sent to the National Wages and Productivity Commission after the Holy Week. (PNA)