NCR workers get wage hike

May 18, 2012 at 11:48

Private sector workers earning the floor pay in Metro Manila should soon see their monthly take rise by about P900 under a new wage decision reached yesterday, a Labor official said.

“It will increase monthly wage by P900, but this is CoLA (cost of living allowance),” Alan M. Macaraya, director of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board for the National Capital Region (NCR), said in a telephone interview after the body’s meeting in Quezon City.

While he declined to elaborate, Mr. Macaraya said the wage order will provide a new CoLA and integrate the current P22 CoLA into the P389-426 daily minimum wage to make the new base pay. The existing wage order expires on May 26.

Mr. Macaraya added that the new order will provide for a two-tiered wage system — consisting of a floor pay and productivity-based increase — currently being implemented in the Cavite-Batangas-Laguna-Rizal-Quezon (Calabarzon) region where a new wage order took effect last Tuesday.

While Mr. Macaraya said via text message that the wage board’s decision “will be announced tomorrow (May 18),” he clarified that details of the order — particularly on the new scheme — are still being finalized.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz told reporters in April that while a new daily minium wage hike for Metro Manila can be expected this month, it could range from P13-21 per day — far short of the P90 adjustment formally sought by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines in March.

Sought for comment, Ernie O. Cecilia, chairman of the industrial relations committee of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc., said by phone that the Labor department “should begin to transition to the two-tier wage system as soon as possible”, echoing the stand of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines that raises in pay should be based on productivity.

Besides Calabarzon (Region 4A), five other regions, so far, have received new wage orders, namely: Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Bicol (Region 5), Western Visayas (Region 6), Davao (Region 11) and the South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos City cluster (Soccsksargen or Region 12).

Ms. Baldoz said in a statement yesterday that she expects the wage boards of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Ilocos (Region 1) to soon decide “whether to increase or not the daily basic wage of the private workers in their respective regions”, noting these bodies “are already winding up their public hearings and wage consultations.”


By A. E. Barrameda
Source: BusinessWorld, May 18, 2012
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