DOLE announces P10 wage hike in NCR

By Josine F. Estuye

MANILA, (PNA) -– From P456, the minimum wage in National Capital Region will increase to P466, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz announced Friday.DOLE announces P10 wage hike in NCR.

Baldoz said the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board of the National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR), after series of public hearings and deliberations, has unanimously decided to increase the minimum wage in Metro Manila by P10, which consists of a basic wage and Cost of Living (COLA).

The wage hike is RTWPB’s response to the P85 and P83 across the board wage hike petitions filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

“DOLE-NCR Regional Director Alex Avila, chairperson of the RTWBP-NCR National Capital Region has reported to me that the RTWPC-NCR in a very cordial meeting had unanimously made a decision to increase the minimum wage by P10 per day to bring the minimum wage to P466 in the National Capital Region upon the effectivity of the new wage hike,” Baldoz said.

“The RTWPB-NCR also decided to integrate P15 of the existing P30 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) under RTWPB-NCR Wage Order No. 17 into the basic wage effective January 1, 2014. This will bring the new basic wage to P451 and the new minimum wage to P466,” she added.

The labor chief said the new minimum wage is contained in RTWPB-NCR Wage Order No. 18, unanimously signed by the NCR wage board, consisting Chairperson Avila; Vice Chairpersons Rosemarie Edillon, Assistant Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, and Director Ferdinand Manfoste of the Department of Trade and Industry; members representing the labor sector German Pascua, Jr. of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Jessie Aguilar of the TUPAS; members representing the employers sector Vicente Leogardo, Jr. and Alberto Quimpo of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines.

Avila said “the new minimum wage applies to all minimum wage workers in the private sector in the NCR, regardless of their position, designation, or status of employment, and irrespective of the method by which they are paid.”

However, it says that the household or domestic helpers; persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers; and workers of duly registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) with Certificates of Authority pursuant to RA 9178 are not covered by the new wage order.

In line with this, Baldoz instructed Avila to use the issuance of the new wage order as an opportunity to inform and educate workers and the general public on the wage reforms the DOLE has been pushing, particularly on the two-tier wage system.

The RTWPB-NCR shall issue corresponding advisories on the second tier, or the performance-based pay which shall serve as guidelines for private establishments on the range of productivity bonuses and incentives that an enterprise may provide based on agreements between workers and employers.

“Our workers’ take home pay is increased to P11,240 per month, or by 2.1 percent, compared to the current P11,005 per month. Our workers will get a bigger 13th month pay of P11,651 or an increase of about 5.9 as a result of the COLA integration,” Baldoz noted.

According to Baldoz, the NCR Board shall also issue the Rules and Regulations implementing the new Wage Order within 10 days from its publication.

The new wage order will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper, which means that the new wage order in Metro Manila will take effect on or before the month of October.

The wage hike is RTWPB’s response to the P85 and P83 across the board wage hike petitions filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

This will be the second consecutive year that the RTWB-NCR approved a wage increase.

On May 2012, RTWPB-NCR issued Wage Order NCR-17 which provides for a P30 daily cost of living allowance (COLA) and for the integration of the P22 COLA into the basic pay of all minimum wage earners in the private sector in Metro Manila.