by Julie M. Aurelio, Inquirer, Sep 16, 2017
Minimum wage earners in Metro Manila will be getting a P21 increase in their daily pay.
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) on Thursday issued Wage Order No. NCR-21, which increases the daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region from P491 to P512.
For the nonagricultural sector, the P512 daily minimum pay includes the P502 basic wage and the P10 cost of living allowance.
Workers in the agricultural sector will receive P475—P465 basic wage and P10 cost of living allowance.
The wage board said the new rates shall apply to “all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the region, regardless of their position, designation, or status of employment and irrespective of the method of which they are paid.”
The order does not cover domestic workers, persons in the personal service of another, and workers in barangay micro-business enterprises.
The order was issued following three petitions filed before the RTWPB-NCR: that of the Association of Minimum Wage Earners and Advocates for a P175 hike; the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines for a P259 hike; and the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) for a P184 hike.
The wage order will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
The last wage order took effect in Metro Manila in June 2016, integrating the P15 cost of living allowance into the basic wage and the granting of a P10 cost of living allowance per day.
ALU spokesperson Alan Tanjusay criticized the latest increase, calling it inadequate for families to cope with rising prices of goods.
“The (additional) P21 is only 4.27 percent of the current P491. So it obviously did not lift workers out of poverty,” Tanjusay said.
ALU would make an appeal to President Duterte to grant their request to provide a P500 monthly cash voucher to minimum wage earners, similar to the conditional cash transfer program, the labor leader added.