Metro Manila workers to get P30 allowance hike

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Friday, May 18, 2012

MANILA (2nd Update, 3:32 p.m.) -- The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) has approved a P30 increase in the daily allowance of workers in the National Capital Region (NCR), the government said Friday.

In a press conference, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the hike in the cost-of-living-allowance (Cola) shall be given in two tranches.

Twenty pesos will be released upon effectivity of Wage Order NCR-17 and the remaining P10 on November 1, 2012.

The new wage hike brings up the minimum wage in the NCR to P446 a day for the non-agriculture sector and P409 a day for the other sectors, such as agriculture, private hospitals with bed capacity of 100 or less, retail/service establishments employing 10 workers or less and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers.

Baldoz said the P30 Cola applies to all minimum earners in the private sector in the NCR, regardless of their position, designation or status of employment and irrespective of the method of payment of wages.

On the other hand, the labor chief said excluded from the increase are household or domestic helpers, persons in the personal service of another, including family drivers, and workers of duly registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs).

Meanwhile, Baldoz said distressed establishments, retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers, establishments, whose total assets are not more than P3 million, and establishments adversely affected by natural calamities may apply for exemption from payment of the COLA.

In a statement, wage petitioner Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said the integration of the P22 Cola per day will be beneficial in factoring in other workers' benefits.

These include the computation of overtime pay, holiday pay, premium pay, night shift pay, 13th month pay, and retirement pay, among others.

"However, we have mixed feelings with the increase of 30 pesos in two tranches. We will challenge this and file an appeal at the appropriate time," TUCP president Democrito Mendoza said.

TUCP earlier asked for a P90-wage increase to narrow the gap between the basic minimum pay of 426 pesos and the family living wage in NCR which is P993.

"It is very clear that the wage board does not seriously take into account the lives of the workers. What they did in this instance is to heed the profit-oriented employers," Mendoza said. (HDT/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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