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, namely: 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.
The said increase will be given in two (2) phases according to Dir. Alan M. Macaraya, NCR Wage Board Chairperson; the first amounting to Php20.00 and was given on June 3 and the remaining Php10.00 in November 1 this year. In addition, the Php22.00 Cost-Of-Living Allowance (COLA) granted last year will also be integrated into the basic pay.
In Metro Manila, the Php30 COLA increase is granted to city workers and will took effect on June 3, 15 days after publication of Wage Order No. NCR-17 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 19.
Effective November 1, the remaining Php10 COLA shall be added to the minimum wage raising it further to P456 and P419, respectively.
“The effective labor cost to employees of the integration of P22.00 and the new COLA of P30.00 amounts to P546.50 per day per employee working six (6) days a week, which is equivalent to 11.98% increase or P58.48 per day from the previous minimum wage rate", explains Macaraya.
According to Macaraya, the Wage Board has already increased the minimum wage rate in the NCR 10 times since the filing in 1999 by organized labor of a petition for Php125 across-the-board wage increase, which totaled Php228.00 per day or almost double the P125 increase sought.
The Php30 COLA is one of the highest granted by the Wage Board in recent years, equaling the increase granted in 2001 by the Wage Board under Wage Order No.NCR-09, which was also payable in two (2) tranches.
The new and innovative features are included in the new wage order, such as the applicable wage for workers in Barangay Micro Business Establishments (BMBEs) were also emphasized by Macaraya.BMBEs
A not lower than the poverty threshold of Php259.36 pay for a family of five (5) as of 2011, workers in BMBEs. It shall be paid subject to the condition and that there will be a change in the poverty threshold as determined by the National Statistics Office, the same shall apply.
Although BMBEs are exempted from the coverage of minimum wage, the new provision seeks to protect workers in BMBEs from unduly low wages by setting a safety net, below which no wages of BMBE workers shall fall.Coverage of COLA
The Php30 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.
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). However, registered BMBEs should pay their workers not lower than the poverty threshold of Php259.36 for a family of five (5) as of 2011, subject to the condition that should there be a change in the poverty threshold as determined by the National Statistics Office, the same shall be applicable. This is a new provision intended to protect workers in BMBEs from being paid unduly low wages.Exemption
The following establishments may apply for exemption from payment of the COLA: distressed establishments retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers, establishments whose total assets are not more than Php3 million and establishments adversely affected by natural calamities.
Source: New wage hike for NCR takes effect early June