Last public hearing on ‘kasambahay’ wage hike set in Bacolod City today
THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas is conducting today the last of the two public hearings on the proposed wage increase for domestic workers or “kasambahays” in the region, including Negros Occidental.
Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB in Region 6, said the public hearing at the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Provincial Field Office in Bacolod City is intended for the Wage Board to gather sentiments, whether support or oppositions, from stake- holders in the province.
Sancho said that during the first public hearing conducted in Iloilo City on Tuesday, there were those who raised for a P500 monthly increase.
Some objected and moved to put under status quo the proposal to increase the salary of domestic workers in the region, he said.
“The Board will just have to listen to the sentiments of the stakeholders. If there are position papers, they can submit it during the hearing,” Sancho said, adding that RTWPB-6 has yet to deliberate the results of the two public hearings.
Employers, domestic workers and representatives of various groups including the Voice of the Free, formerly the Visayan Forum, are expected to attend the public hearing.
Wage Order No. 2, which already lapsed last December 8, prescribed a minimum wage rate of P3,500 per month for domestic workers in the region.
The order removed the classification of “kasambahays” as all are receiving the same wage rate regardless of whether they are working in cities or different classes of municipalities.
It replaced the previous Wage Order where domestic workers in cities and first class municipalities are prescribed to receive P2,500 per month while those in other towns are entitled to have P2,000.
This means that salary of domestic workers in cities and first class municipalities previously increased by P1,000 per month. Those in other towns was P1,500.
With the new proposal, increase will range from P800 to P1,000 per month. Once approved, all “kasambahays” are entitled to receive a monthly wage
of up to P4,500.
“The labor sector will stand up for the approval of the P1,000 increase,” Sancho, also the secretary general of General Alliance of Workers Association (Gawa), earlier said.
Moreover, under the existing Wage Order, withholding and interference in the disposal of wages of the domestic workers are declared unlawful and shall be punishable.
Fine is at least P10,000 but not more than P40,000 without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate civil or criminal action by the aggrieved party.
The order applies to all domestic workers, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as but not limited to general househelp, “yaya,” cook, gardener, laundry person, and any person who regularly performs work in one household on an occupational basis.
It does not cover service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangement, and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on occupational basis./epn