COTABATO CITY – “Except for the Province of Maguindanao, all other areas in the ARMM are no longer members of the poorest provinces and cities in the country,” revealed by Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) report during the one-day Public Consultation on Minimum Wage in ARMM on December 11.

Regional Tri-partite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Chairman and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Muslimin Jakilan also informed the participants of the economic recovery ARMM has so far achieved particularly in the incumbency of the present administration of Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan.

Said consultation is the 3rd of a series with the first and second conducted in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu last November 26 and 29 respectively. Participants came from mainland ARMM particularly Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan and Lanao del Sur.

During the workshop, majority agreed that there is a need to increase the minimum wage for ARMM, which by virtue of Wage Order No. 9 issued August 4, 2006, daily minimum wage is P190 plus P10 cost of living allowance (COLA).

“ARMM has one of the lowest standards of living accounting for the relatively low minimum wage,” explained Susan Anayatin who represented Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-ARMM) Secretary Ishak Mastura.

She said that prices of prime commodities particularly foodstuffs are relatively low in the area of autonomy in contrast with those in other areas like Manila.

While the management and labor sectors were on heated discussions, the whole proceedings were on the level as all agreed to submit output to the RTWPB-ARMM to decide.

Minimum wage for every region is being tackled annually to appropriately address economic realities confronting labor and management. (bpi-armm)

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
December 12, 2007