By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
Minimum wage earners in private establishments in Western Visayas will be receiving an increase in their daily take-home pay starting November 16, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) announced over the weekend.
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board VI (RTWPB-VI) on October 16, issued a new wage order for employees in non-agricultural, industrial, and commercial establishments, as well as domestic workers (kasambahays).
The wage board said there will be a P30 minimum wage increase across all sectors.
With the full implementation of the salary hike, non-agriculture establishments with more than 10 workers will have a daily take-home pay of P480, for non-agricultural businesses with 10 workers or fewer will increase to P450, and P440 for workers in agriculture.
The wage board also approved an increase of P500 in the monthly salary of domestic helpers in the region. This will raise their monthly wage rate to P5,000.
The wage increase for domestic workers was acted upon by a motu proprio of the board, which means that RTWPB-VI can initiate an action even in the absence of a filed petition for a wage increase.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 6 director and RTWPB-6 concurrent chairperson Sixto Rodriguez Jr. previously said in an interview that the board did not receive position papers for wage increases from domestic workers.
Meanwhile, the wage increase among workers in the private sector was issued by virtue of a petition, particularly from the United Labor-Western Visayas and the Iloilo Pepsi Cola Workers Independent Union. Both the petitioners proposed a P100 daily minimum wage increase.
It can be recalled that the United Labor has pushed for a P100 “wage recovery” on the daily salary amid the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and the weakening of the peso’s purchasing power this year.
Following the filing of the petitions on two separate dates in March, RTWPB-VI conducted a series of consultations with employees and employers’ groups, industry associations, and concerned government agencies, among others.
A consultation among stakeholders across the region was conducted beginning July until August. A public hearing was also conducted at the National Economic and Development
Authority (NEDA) Regional Office VI in Iloilo City on October 5.
In arriving at a new wage order, the RTWPB-VI noted the existing socio-economic conditions in the region such as the Consumer Price Index, inflation rate, employment, underemployment and unemployment rates, and the purchasing power of the peso which is currently at P0.80 in September this year.
The increase was also determined under the various wage determination criteria provided in Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act.
The RTWPB-6 consists of a board consisting of seven members, including regional directors representing DOLE, NEDA, Department of Trade and Industry, and representatives from both the management and labor sectors.
The NWPC also announced that over the weekend, the RTWPB I (Ilocos Region) also issued a new wage order for minimum wage earners in private establishments and domestic workers.