Good news. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the second tranche of the cost of living allowance (COLA), amounting to P10.00, granted by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) last May to daily minimum wage workers in Metro Manila, shall take effect today, November 1.
“This raises the daily minimum wage in the NCR’s non-agricultural sector to P426 basic pay plus P30 COLA, or a total of P456. For other industries/sectors, the daily minimum wage will be P389 basic pay plus P30 COLA, or a P419 daily minimum wage rate,” said Baldoz, who is chairman of the National Wages and Productivity Board, the attached agency of the DOLE that supervises the country’s tripartite regional wage boards.
It can be recalled that the RTWPB-NCR mandated a minimum wage hike of P30 in cost of living allowance (COLA) through the issuance of Wage Order No. NCR-17 on 21 May 2012.
The wage order prescribed for the integration into the basic pay of all minimum wage earners of the P22 daily COLA under the W.O. No. 16 issued in 2011 and a new P30 COLA to be given in two tranches. The first tranche, which amounted to P20, took effect on 3 June.
The wage increase covers all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the NCR, regardless of their position, designation or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which they are paid.
On the other hand, domestic helpers, persons employed in the personal service of another, including family drivers, and workers of duly-registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) are exempted from the wage order.
Aside from the RTWPB-NCR, ten other RTWPBs have issued wage increases this year, namely the RTWPBs of CAR, Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, and ARMM.
Regionally, the highest minimum wages, after the NCR, are those of CALABARZON (Region 4-A), P349; Region 3 (Central Luzon), P336; CAR, P280; Region 6 (Western Visayas), P277; Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), P270; Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), P260; Region 1 (Cagayan Valley), P253; Region 2 (Ilocos Region), P255; Region 5 (Bicol) P252; and ARMM, P232.
Baldoz noted that the all new wage orders already contain the features of the two-tiered wage system, one of the major reforms the DOLE is pushing.
Some of these features are as follows: (1) upward adjustments in the minimum wage rates in the regions whose minimum wage are below the poverty threshold (featured in the wage order of Regions 3 and 4-A); (2) prudent adjustments (wage orders of CAR, Regions 1, 3, and 5); (3) simplification of minimum wage structure (wage orders of CAR, Regions 4-A and 5); (4) inclusion of provision for issuance of productivity-based pay advisories (wage orders NCR, CAR, Regions 1, 3, 4-A, and 8); and (5) no exemption (wage order of CAR and Region 4-A).
“Within the period of three to five years, all wage boards must have already implemented the two-tiered wage system,” she said.
Baldoz encouraged companies to develop and implement productivity improvement programs in addition to their voluntary compliance with the minimum wage laws, saying this is the second tier component of the two-tier wage system, a voluntary productivity-based pay for adjustments above the floor wage. (DOLE)