CITY of SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Region 3 (Central Luzon) has approved a P13 increase in the daily basic pay of workers in the Region, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced Monday.
“The increase will become effective 15 days from its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Region,” Baldoz told newsmen after receiving a report on the minimum wage from Ma. Criselda Sy, Executive Director of the National Wages and Productivity Commission.
Sy, in her report, said that upon effectivity, the new minimum wage in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales will range from P342 to P349 for workers in the non-agriculture sector; P303 to P319 for workers in the agriculture sector; and P324 to P338 for workers in retail/service establishments. In the province of Aurora, the new minimum wage will be P298 for non-agriculture workers; P271 to P283 for agriculture workers; and P228 for workers in retail/service establishments per day.
According to Sy, the new wage order allows financially distressed establishments, retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers and establishments affected by natural and human-induced calamities to apply for exemption from the payment of minimum wages. Covered by the new wage order are minimum wage workers and employees in the private sector, regardless of position, designation or status of employment, and irrespective of the method by which wages are paid.
However, it does not cover household or domestic workers and persons employed in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) with Certificates of Authority.
In arriving at a decision to adjust the regional minimum wages, the RTWPB Region 3, composed of representatives from the labor and employer sectors, as well as from the regional offices of the DOLE, DTI, and NEDA, considered the region’s poverty threshold, average wage, and impact of changes in the consumer price index (CPI), or the inflation rate, on workers’ purchasing power, among other factors.
The wage increase came after the Indo-Phil Textile Workers’ Union-Philippine Trade and General Workers’ Organization filed a petition last 20 May 2014, citing as basis increases in prices of basic goods and services thereby causing the current minimum wages to lag behind.
“Even before the petition, the RTWPB Region 3 had already conducted consultations in Nueva Ecija on 24 April; in Aurora on 25 April; and in Pampanga on 13 May. Then on 27 May, and 10, 24, 15 of June, it conducted consultations in Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, and Tarlac. Finally, the Board conducted a public hearing on 10 September and arrived at the decision,” Director Sy explained.