NCR minimum wage rises to P466 as Baldoz announces wage hike means BUSINESS

MANILA - The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board of the National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) unanimously decided Friday to increase the minimum wage in Metro Manila, bringing the new rate to P466, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced.

The RTWPB-NCR decided, at a meeting presided over by its chair--- DOLE-NCR Regional Director Alex Avila--to integrate P15 of the existing P30 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) under RTWPB-NCR Wage Order No. 17 into the basic wage effective 1 January 2014. "This will bring the new basic wage to P451 and the new minimum wage to P466," added Baldoz.

The minimum wage consists of a basic wage and COLA.

Baldoz noted it is "the first time that the RTWPB-NCR has unanimously decided on a wage increase for workers in the national capital."

The new minimum wage is decreed in RTWPB-NCR Wage Order No. 18, signed by Avila; and by the wage board's vice chairpersons--NEDA Assistant Director General Rosemarie G. Edillon and Trade and Industry Department Director Ferdinand L. Manfoste;  and the board members-- representing the labor sector, German N. Pascua, Jr. of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and Jessie L. Aguilar of the TUPAS; members representing the employers sector Vicente Leogardo, Jr. and Alberto R. Quimpo of the Employers' Confederation of the Philippines.

The new minimum wage, according to Avilla, applies to all minimum wage workers in the private sector in Metro Manila regardless of their position, designation, or status of employment, and irrespective of the method by which they are paid.

Excluded from the new wage order are: 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.

Baldoz noted the RTWPB -NCR has increased the minimum wages in the NCR 12 times for a total of P268 per day. This is more than twofold the P125 across-the-board wage increase that some labor groups have been clamoring for since 14 years ago, she said.

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

Under the new wage order, 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 said.

The Rules and Regulations Implementing the Wage Order are to be issued by the NCR Board within 10 days from its publication, subject to approval of the Secretary of Labor as recommended by the Commission. The new wage order takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.