By Ferdinand Patinio, September 28, 2023; Philippine News Agency
MANILA – Some 682,117 minimum wage earners in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Soccsksargen would benefit from wage increases in these regions.
In an advisory released Wednesday night, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) approved on Sept. 26 the wage hike orders submitted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) in these areas.
The RTWPBs in Cagayan Valley and Soccsksargen also issued wage orders for kasambahay (domestic workers), which would benefit a total of 75,853 domestic workers — 19,040 of who are on live-in arrangement and 56,813 are live out.
It added that all wage orders would be published on Friday and shall take effect after 15 days or on Oct. 16.
The Cagayan Valley wage board issued Wage Order No. RTWPB 2-22 on Sept. 21, providing a PHP30-increase in the minimum wage to be given in two equal tranches — upon its effectivity (first tranche) and on April 1, 2024 (second tranche).
After full implementation of the tranches, the minimum wage rates in the region will be PHP450 for non-agriculture and PHP430 for agriculture establishments.
Meanwhile, the regional wage board also issued Wage Order No. 02-DW-05, granting a monthly wage increase of PHP500 to domestic workers, bringing their minimum monthly wage rate to PHP5,500.
The Central Luzon wage board, meanwhile, issued Wage Order No. RBIII-24 on Sept. 19, granting a PHP40 pay increase for workers in non-agriculture, agriculture, and retail/service establishments.
This brings the minimum wage range to PHP493 to PHP500 (non-agriculture); PHP454 to 470 (agriculture) and PHP475 to PHP489 (retail/service sector) in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
In Aurora province, the new minimum wage would be PHP449 (non-agriculture); PHP422 to PHP434 (agriculture) and PHP384 (retail/service sector).
The Soccsksargen wage board, in Wage Order No. RB XII-23 on Sept. 21, granted a PHP35- increase to workers in the non-agriculture, agriculture, and service/retail establishments to be given in two tranches — PHP22 (first tranche) upon effectivity and PHP13 (second tranche) on January 1, 2024.
After full implementation, the daily minimum wage rates in the region will be PHP403 for non-agriculture, and PHP382 for both agriculture and service/retail sectors.
The wage board also granted a PHP500-minimum wage hike for kasambahay, bringing their monthly wage rate in the region to PHP5,000 in cities and first-class municipalities and PHP4,500 in other municipalities in the region.
The DOLE said the wage increases, which considered the various wage determination criteria provided under Republic Act (RA) 6727, or the Wage Rationalization Act, either resulted from the motu proprio act of the Board or petitions filed by labor groups seeking an increase in the daily minimum wage due to escalating prices of basic goods and commodities.
Meanwhile, retail/service establishments regularly employing not more than 10 workers and enterprises affected by natural calamities and/or human-induced disasters may apply for an exemption from the wage hike to their respective regional wage boards.
Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) are not covered by the minimum wage law pursuant to RA 9178.
Except for the wage order for domestic workers in Soccsksargen which took effect in July 2022, all previous wage orders in the three regions took effect in June 2022.