13 December 2015

Central Luzon workers get pay hike

Workers in Central Luzon will soon get higher pay after the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) approved on Wednesday (Dec. 9) the newest wage order for the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement that Wage Order No. RB III-19, which raises by P15 per day the minimum wage for workers in the six provinces and P20 per day in Aurora has been unanimously approved.

“We have unanimously affirmed the wage order for workers in retail and services establishments with less than 16 workers,” Baldoz said, adding that the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) was able to meet its target that all of the country’s 30 minimum wage rates will be above the poverty threshold level before President Aquino’s term ends.

“This is a victory not only for Filipino workers but for all Filipinos,” Baldoz said.

The increase of P15 per day in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales will be given in two tranches: the first P8 upon implementation of the wage order and the next P7 on May 1 next year.

Similarly, for Aurora province, the increase of P20 per day shall also be given in two tranches. The first tranche of P10 will be given upon the implementation of the order and the additional P10 on May 1, 2016.

Dole Regional Director Ana Dione said that with the pay hike, the minimum wage in Central Luzon now stands at P364 per day.

“With the increase, the highest minimum wage in the region is now P364, which is above the poverty threshold of P248 for a family of five as of December 2012,” she said.

The latest Dole-NWPC wage order applies to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in Central Luzon regardless of position, designation, status of employment, and methods by which the wages are paid.

Those who are not covered by the wage order are “kasambahays” and persons employed in personal service of another, including family drivers and workers of barangay micro business enterprises.

In issuing the wage order, the Regional Wage Board encourages establishments to adopt productivity improvement schemes such as time and motion studies, good housekeeping, quality circles, and labor management cooperation, as well as to implement gain sharing programs.

“Complaints for non-compliance with Wage Order RB III-19 shall be filed with Dole Regional Office III and shall be subject of enforcement proceedings under Article 128 of the Labor Code,” Dione said.

Any person, corporation, trust, or firm, partnership, association, or entity which refuses or fails to pay the prescribed wage rates shall be subject to penal provisions under Republic Act 6727, or the Minimum Wage Fixing Law. (JTD/Sun.Star Pampanga)