24 November 2010
Workers in the private sector, here's the good news. At last, the much-awaited minimum wage in the region has been made possible. The new wage order, WO No. RBV-14 implemented effective November 1 directs employers to grant at least P15 increase in the current wage system which integrated the P8 COLA of the previous wage order into the minimum wage.
That P15 minimum wage increase in Bicol is by all means good news to the lowly workers. It would translate to an additional income of P 450 per month. Accordingly, for the first time in the history of Bicol, RTWPB in Wage Order No. 14 has removed the classification between cities and municipalities thereby forming a one regional wage order.
Kudos then to DOLE Bicol Director Alvin M. Villamor also the RTWPB chairman and the other tripartite members for coming out with a simplified wage order which even the common laborer could understand.
The one- million- dollar- question is: Will these establishments implement said wage increase as directed in said wage order? DOLE officials in the province, please closely monitor the implementation of this wage increase in the province. Some quarters, however, say more often than not, these establishments are reluctant to implement such wage increase for obvious reason: It means additional obligation on their part, a decrease on their profits. Remember, profit is a primary incentive in business.
With close monitoring by the DOLE, violations of this wage order will be minimized. Reason: lowly workers are afraid to complain or report said violations for fear of termination.
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When the Ficelco electric bill was handed to the Bicol Peryodiko office several weeks ago our publisher/editor-in-chief, Ferdz Brizo, became problematic. To his consternation and disbelief, the monthly bill which normally ranged from P1800-2500 suddenly ballooned to P7000 for the month of October.
When our managing editor, Jing Gonzales, verified the matter at the Ficelco main office at Marinawa, Bato , it was found out that the meter reader committed the error in computation. Upon review, it turned out that the electricity consumed amounted to P1,800 only for the month of October. Imagine the big discrepancy.
Had our BP bossing accepted the Ficelco billing hook, line, and sinker, our 4-year- old publication would have been made poorer in the thousands of pesos. That would have been grossly unfair and unjust a billing to the BP but substantial profit to the Ficelco coffers. Imagine the discrepancy and the attendant financial damage it would have wrought upon our fledgling publication.
The moral lesson we can derive from this erroneous computation is this: If you think your bill for the current month is highly questionable, you have the right to complain and/or verify its accuracy. In fairness, however, we commend the Ficelco management for the prompt correction made.
We assumed that it is just an isolated case. We further hope and pray that the hapless meter reader will not be suspended or terminated. A warning punctuated by a sermon is more than enough. It was an error, we believe, unintentionally committed. Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, mahirap mawalan ng trabaho, 'di ba Mang Pandoy?
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