New Metro Manila min­i­mum wage set at P500 to P537

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Nation - (Aika Rey, Rap­pler. com)

MANILA – The Depart­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) yes­ter­day con­firmed the P25 across‐the‐board wage hike for min­i­mum wage earn­ers in Metro Manila.

New min­i­mum wage rates for agri­cul­tural work­ers, firms in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor with at most 10 work­ers, and firms in the re­tail as well as ser­vice sec­tors with at most 15 work­ers will earn at least P500 daily, from the pre­vi­ous P475.

Non-agri­cul­tural work­ers, mean­while, will soon have a daily min­i­mum wage of P537 from P512.

Un­der Wage Or­der No. 22, the P10 cost of liv­ing al­lowance (COLA) will also be­come part of the ba­sic pay. Pre­vi­ously, the min­i­mum ba­sic pay ranged from P465 to P502, with an addi onal P10 COLA.

Na onal Wages and Pro­duc vity Com­mis­sion Ex­ecu ve Di­rec­tor Criselda Sy ex­plained that the in­te­gra on of COLA in the ba­sic pay means big­ger com­puta ons for over me pay and 13th month pay.

The new wage or­der will be ef­fec ve 15 days from pub­lica on in a news­pa­per. Sy said a copy of the or­der will be sent to their of­fice.

The or­der was signed by DOLE, the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try, Na onal Eco­nomic and Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, and an em­ploy­ers' group rep­re­senta ve. La­bor group rep­re­senta ves signed the or­der, but with reserva ons.

The wage or­der can s ll be ap­pealed within 10 days upon pub­lica on. But Sy said there were no ap­peals that had been suc­cess­fully granted in the past.

Higher in­fla on?

Asked whether the re­gional board could have ap­proved a higher in­crease, Sy ex­plained that do­ing so might lead to "sec­ondary in­fla onary ef­fects."

"It could be a poten al source of sec­ondary in­fla onary ef­fects. In­fla on is at 6.7% and it could be higher if we im­ple­ment a higher wage hike," she said.

Sy warned that the min­i­mum wage pol­icy "may be over­bur­dened" with a higher rate, and may also lead to lay­offs, if em­ploy­ers are un­able to ac­com­mo­date the addi onal cost.

La­bor Sec­re­tary Sil­vestre Bello III noted that the de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment the P25 wage hike was reached to "bal­ance" the in­ter­ests of both work­ers and em­ploy­ers. The As­so­ci­ated La­bor Unions‐Trade Union Congress of the Philip­pines (ALU‐TUCP) had called for a P100 hike, down from the ini al P334, dur­ing dis­cus­sions.

"In de­cid­ing [the] min­i­mum wage ad­just­ment, the board needs to bal­ance the needs of work­ers and their fam­i­lies, with the ca­pac­ity of en­ter­prises to pay the addi onal la­bor cost, with­out im­pair­ing busi­nesses, es­pe­cially [their] ca­pac­ity to con nu­ously gen­er­ate jobs," Bello said.

Based on Repub­lic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Ra on­al­iza on Act, each re­gion in the Philip­pines has a unique min­i­mum wage set by the Re­gional Tri­par te Wages and Pro­duc vity Boards. The fac­tors taken into con­sid­era on in­clude the poverty thresh­old, em­ploy­ment rate, and cost of liv­ing spe­cific to the re­gion.

'Over­worked, un­der­paid work­ers'

La­bor groups slammed the "measly" P25 in­crease, say­ing it is "not a re­lief" for work­ers.

ALU‐TUCP said in­fla on would con nue to "pro­long" the plight of work­ers, and warned of fur­ther strikes.

"By not giv­ing a sub­stan al wage in­crease, we are look­ing at dis­grun­tled, dissa sfied work­ers, with or with­out unions, de­mand­ing higher wages, di­rectly con­fron ng em­ploy­ers and busi­ness own­ers, crea ng ten­sion within the en­ter­prise level thereby dis­turb­ing and break­ing the frag­ile in­dus­trial peace," ALU‐ TUCP spokesper­son Alan Tan­jusay said.

Mean­while, Par do Mang­ga­gawa said the hike is "30% short" of mak­ing up for the P35.84 "ero­sion" in wages, ac­cord­ing to its own es mate.

"P25 is just alms, not re­lief to over­worked yet un­der­paid Filipino work­ers. P25 can­not com­pen­sate for the [al­most] 7% run­away in­fla on in Metro Manila and real wage stagna on, de­spite 50% pro­duc vity growth from 2001 to 2016," Par do Mang­ga­gawa pres­i­dent Rene Magtubo said.

(Dar­ren Lan­git/Rap­pler File photo)

Hun­dreds troop to the Que­zon City Hall for a job fair on May 1, 2018.

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