Friday, May 15, 2015

DTI notes major employers' 
absence at wage board gab

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol May 14 (PIA) --Picking on the glaring absence of major employers in Bohol during the recent wage consultation, Central Visayas trade director wished "their absence is not because they do not pay right." 

In Bohol, there have been allegations that leading employers: business establishments in Tagbilaran do not pay right, the pay is way below P310 minimum wage as ordered. 

Allegations of how employees are forced to sign two sets of payrolls, and are scrimped in their benefits abound, but the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has still to receive complaints of the sort, updates German Guidaben, local DOLE officer in charge. 

But, Boholana Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional director Asteria Caberte, who has been an aggressive in keeping industrial peace in the region openly said she is missing some people at the gathering. 

Be responsible, the out-spoken multi-awarded government chief executive dared as she also urged DOLE to do serious implementation of the wage order in Bohol. 

At the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) wage consultation at the Jjs Seafoods Village Thursday, DOLE regional director Exequiel Sarcauga also shared knowledge that one resort here that pays only P290, instead of the mandated P310 minimum in Bohol. 

Even for an average family of 5, P290 means P19.00 per meal budget for each family member. 

Where would the family seek money for education and budget for medicines? Sarcauga asked those present at the wage consultation as he computed from the pay shortchange. 

The RTWPB is an attached agency of the DOLE and is mandated to prescribe the minimum wage rates for all private enterprise workers in the region. The rate must not be below the wage as determined by law, according to the RTWPB website. 

The RTWPB also seeks ways to promote productivity improvement programs, thus it is mandated to inquire and validate conditions affecting wages in a region so they can fix wages with or without petition. 

Aside from data gathered in consultations like this, the RTWPB also studies facts and research findings, and the public hearing set is among the many ways to fix wage rates, DOLE said. 

RTWPB uses demand for living wages, the Consumer Price Index, cost of living, needs of workers and their families, the need to induce industries to invest in the countryside, improvements in standards of living, prevailing wage levels, fair return of the capital invested and capacity to pay of employers, effects on employment generation and family income as well as equitable distribution of income and wealth along the imperatives of economic social development as their basis for wage adjustments.

As mandated too, RTWPB rounds the region's provinces and within 30 days from the date of the last public hearing, the Board is required to issue a wage order. 

Generally, wage boards can issue wage order within 90 days but only for once a year unless regional conditions warrant otherwise as determined by them. 

A wage order takes effect 15 days from its complete publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the region. (rac/PIA-7Bohol/PR)

PCG to map out navigational 
safety, to meet stakeholders

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol May 14 (PIA) --Taking the recent sea mishap involving a Tubigon-heading fastcraft and a cargo ship, Coast Guard chief is set to call a meeting in Tagbilaran next week, to engage stakeholders on a discussion on the shipping sector's safety and development in Bohol. 

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Bohol chief Lieutenant Commander Benjie Quinisio said there might be a need to set up and rehabilitate the marine navigational aids in Bohol. 

The PCG plans to gather shipping company representatives, chamber members, shippers, port users and interested individuals to a meeting at a venue that would seen be announced. 

Quinisio, who has been assigned in Bohol since last month immediately rolled his sleeves and rounded all other coast guard stations and assets all over Bohol to check on their situations.

We found out that a lot of beacon lights and lighthouses in Bohol are not operational, he said. 

In the narrow Tagbilaran City channel for example, there are supposed to be 8 lighthouses and beacons, only six are visible. He also pointed out that there are even areas where the harbor pilot or entering ships need to spot the unlighted beacons, if only to be assured of a safe passage. 

The least we would want in Tagbilaran is for a transiting ships to run aground in the shallows in the absence of lights, he aired his apprehension. 

Ships running aground within the vicinity of the channel may consequently block the passage of supply boats, disrupting the flow of trade and commerce in the city and in nearby areas in Bohol. 

The Makati-city born chief graduate of Philippine Merchant Marine Academy also said his worst fear is for ships to collide in midsea, due to the absence of navigational reference especially at night time. 

Tagbilaran Coast Guard Station sources confirmed that several of lighthouses and beacons all over Bohol are not anymore functioning. 

Tagbilaran Coast Guard Station also supervises substations in Panglao, Jagna, Ubay, Talibon, Tubigon.

The islets and islands comprising the Danajon Reef in northeastern Bohol has been a critical marine highway for ships to nearby Samar and Leyte as well as for fishermen, and the absence of working navigational guides can make the night passage in these areas very tricky, coast guard said. 

With a generous 71 islands and islets, critical shallow reefs and dangerous currents passing near the mainland, the presence of navigational aids, like functioning lighthouses are a great help to night navigation passage in Bohol, PCG Tagbilaran said. (rac/PIA-7Bohol/PR)

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