December 6, 2022

The city council last Monday discussed the proposal of the City Engineering Office to adjust the daily rate of labor for city government projects.
Under the proposal, a foreman’s daily labor rate shall be adjusted from P750 to P763; a skilled laborer’s daily rate shall be adjusted from P500 to P554; and an unskilled laborer’s rate shall be adjusted from P320 to P427.
The proposed adjustment was based on Wage Order RB-CAR-20 of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board.
The matter was raised during the Sept. 25, 2020 meeting of the City Development Council.
The CDC members expressed the need to increase the daily rate of labor for government projects to encourage competitive bidding resulting in higher quality of project implemented.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said contractors are put off by the low daily rate of laborers for government projects in the city; thus, are discouraged to participate in the bidding.
He claimed the actual payment given by contractors to laborers is higher than the present daily labor rate, adding that increasing the said rate is necessary.
The proposed adjusted daily rate shall cover the worker’s basic wage, leave credits, 13th month pay, and benefits such as Social Security System, PhilHealth, and PagIBIG.
Several members of the city council and City Accountant Antonio Tabin, however, raised a few concerns regarding the proposed adjustment.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said matters concerning the social contributions of both the contractor and the worker should be clearly stipulated in the contract as it is not clear in the proposal who will shoulder these social contributions.
For Tabin, the proposed adjustment which covers the social benefits is only applicable to permanent workers in a construction company and not to those who are on a job order status or those who are hired only for a short period of time.
He added there is a need to require contractors to submit documents proving that these government contributions are regularly remitted to ensure the prescribed labor rate, which covers social benefits, is followed.
The council concurred with the suggestion of City Planning and Development Office Coordinator Donna Tabangin to postpone the implementation of this proposal taking into account several issues that still need to be resolved.
Councilor Arthur Allad-iw also proposed that a consultation with the laborers and the contractors be held to come up with a consensus among stakeholders. – Jordan G. Habbiling