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June 30, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 303 views

THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in the National Capital Region (NCR) has granted a PHP40 salary increase for minimum wage earners in the private sectors.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the board issued Wage Order No. NCR-24 on June 26, granting the daily wage adjustment.

With the RTWPB’s decision, the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila has increased from P570 to P610 for the non-agriculture sector.

For the agriculture sector, service and retail establishments with 15 or less workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers, the employees will now be getting P573 from P533.

“In accordance with existing laws and procedures, the wage order was submitted for affirmation to the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) on June 26, 2023,” the DOLE said.

The NWPC affirmed the wage order on June 27 and authorized its publication on June 30.

“The wage order is to take effect after 15 days from its publication, or on 16 July 2023,” the DOLE said.

The wage order is expected to benefit 1.1 million minimum wage earners in NCR.

About 1.5 million full-time wage and salary workers earning above the minimum wage may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion.

The increase, which considered the various wage determination criteria provided under Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act, resulted from several petitions filed by various labor groups seeking an increase in the daily minimum wage due to escalating prices of basic goods and commodities.

The Board, comprised of representatives from the government, management and labor sectors, conducted a public hearing on June 21 in Pasay City and a wage deliberation on June 26 in Manila.

The new rates, which translate to a 7 percent increase from the prevailing daily minimum wage rates in the region, remain above the regional poverty threshold of P452 per day for a family of five.

These likewise result in a comparable 7 percent increase in wage-related benefits covering 13th month pay, service incentive leave (SIL), and social security benefits such as Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Pag-IBIG.

“As in any wage order, and as provided for in the NWPC Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, retail/service establishments regularly employing not more than ten workers, and enterprises affected by natural calamities and/or human-induced disasters may apply to the RTWPB for exemption from the wage increase. Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) are not covered by the minimum wage law pursuant to Republic Act No. 9178 [2002],” the order said.

“RTWPB-NCR shall undertake information campaigns to ensure compliance and to provide assistance to enterprises in correcting possible wage distortions. For exemption applications and further clarifications on the wage order, the RTWPB may also be reached through its email address [email protected],” it added.

The last Wage Order for workers in private establishments in the region was issued on May 12, 2022 and became effective on June 4, 2022.

Meanwhile, Agri Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee welcomed the P40 minimum wage hike.

“Sa panahon na mataas pa rin ang presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin, malaking tulong pa rin ang dagdag-sahod na ito lalo na para sa ating urban poor sa Metro Manila. Ang hiling natin ay sana magpatupad na rin ng minimum wage increase ang iba pang mga rehiyon sa lalong madaling panahon, lalo na sa mga lugar na maraming naghihirap,” Lee, a former businessman, said.

The solon pointed out that generating jobs and increasing wages should be a priority of the government, and said that in order to accomplish this, efforts should also be focused on creating a business-friendly environment that will encourage investments and spur the growth of local industries.

“While government recognizes and acts on the needs of our workers, it must also realize that it has to empower the business sector so that businessmen are in a position to provide jobs and higher wages,” Lee said. Philippine News Agency, Jester Manalastas