Minimum wage in Central Luzon up by P15

MANILA, Philippines – Minimum wage earners in Central Luzon will get a P15-increase in their daily pay, the labor department said.

This will not apply to minimum wage earners in Aurora, who will receive a P20-increase.

Labor Secretary and National Wages and Producitivity Commission (NWPC) chairperson Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday, December 10, said the NWPC affirmed the newest wage order of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Central Luzon raising minimum wages in the region. 

According to Baldoz, the commission unanimously affirmed Wage Order No. RB III-19, which raises the daily minimum wage by P15 in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.  

It will be given in two tranches: P8 for the first tranche upon effectivity and P7 on May 1, 2016. This brings the highest minimum wage in the region to P364, which is above the poverty threshold of P248 for a family of 5 as of December 2012.

There will also be a P20-increase in minimum wages in Aurora for workers in retail and services establishments with less than 16 workers. The increase will be implemented in two batches as well: P10 upon effectivity of the wage order and another P10 on May 1, 2016. 

The wage order applies to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in Region 3, regardless of their position, designation, status of employment, and their methods of payment. 

Household helpers and those employed in the personal service of another, like family drivers and Barangay Micro Business Enterprises, are not covered by the minimum wage increase.

‘Victory’ for Filipino workers

Baldoz called the minimum wage across as a “victory not only for all Filipino workers, but for all Filipinos.”

She said the issuance of the wage order indicates that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has met its target to put the country’s 30 minimum wage rates above the poverty threshold level before the end of President Benigno Aquino III’s term. (READ: SONA 2015: The state of Philippine labor under Aquino)

The minimum wage increase was a result of a sectoral wage consultation done by the Region 3 Regional Wage Board on October 27 as well as a public hearing on November 5. These activities aimed to gather inputs on the wage situation in Central Luzon.

In their order, the Region 3 Regional Wage Board encouraged companies to adopt productivity improvement schemes, such as time and motion studies, good housekeeping, quality circles, and labor management cooperation. They also want establishments to implement gainsharing programs.

Baldoz said companies who will not comply with the wage order may be reported to DOLE’s regional office in Central Luzon in violation of Article 128 of the Labor Code.

Any person, corporation, trust, firm, partnership, association, or entity which will refuse or fail to pay the prescribed wage rates in accordance with Wage Order No RB III-19 will be subjected to the penal provisions under the Minimum Wage Fixing Law. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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