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Metro Manila minimum wage hike effective July 1

June 16, 2010

A P22 INCREASE in Metro Manila minimum wages will take effect on July 1 after the requisite order was published yesterday by the local wage board.

The increase, announced last week, will bring the daily rate to a range of P367-404 from P345-382 previously.

The order’s implementing rules, National Wages and Productivity Commission executive director Ciriaco A. Lagunzad IIII said, will be signed by Labor Secretary Marianito D. Roque before the end of the month.

“The orders will be enforced by the regional offices of the Department of Labor [and Employment]. Inspectors will first inform everyone about the new order — when it will be effective, who are entitled, how will it affect the labor standards such as overtime and holiday pay,” Mr. Lagunzad said in a telephone interview.

Exempted from the wage increase are distressed establishments, retail/service businesses employing not more than 10 workers, establishments with total assets of not more P3 million and those affected by the natural calamities.

Sought for comment, Employers Confederation of the Philippines President Edgardo G. Lacson said: “Everybody will have to comply … [We can resort to] a rotation of jobs, retrenchment or a review of the viability of business.”

Kilusang Mayo Uno Chairman Elmer C. Labog, meanwhile, said in a separate phone interview: “[The adjustment] falls short of the P125 across the board increase nationwide [that we want]. We are not satisfied. It’s not substantial.”

Three members of the seven-member Metro Manila wage board dissented in the order: employers’ representatives Vicente Leogardo, Jr. and Alberto R. Quimpo, and labor representative Jessie L. Aguilar.

The Metro Manila wage increase kicked off a fresh round of annual nationwide adjustments that were put off last year amid the global downturn.

Mr. Lagunzad said the regional wage boards in the Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Davao regions had already prepared their analysis of petitions and were set to conduct public hearings. — A. M. G. Roa, BUsinessworld

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