New Year brings wage increases in Metro Manila, Caraga | Inquirer News

New Year brings wage increases in Metro Manila, Caraga

/ 05:30 AM December 17, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines — The New Year will bring a fresh round of pay raises for over 300,000 minimum wage earners and domestic workers in Metro Manila and the Caraga region in northeastern Mindanao.

Based on the wage order issued by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) on Dec. 12, “kasambahay” in the capital region should start receiving on Jan. 3 a monthly minimum wage of P6,500, up from the current P6,000.


The new pay rate comes more than five months after a salary hike of P40 per day was implemented for private sector workers in Metro Manila.


Domestic workers in Caraga will also get a raise in their monthly minimum wage after the regional wage board increased it to P5,000 from P4,000, based on the latest wage order affirmed on Dec. 13. It is slated to take effect on Jan. 1.

The region is composed of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands.

Both wage orders, which were issued motu proprio or at the initiative of the respective RTWPBs of Metro Manila and Caraga, are seen to benefit 256,476 domestic workers, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

Most of them are on live-in arrangements with their employers, it added.

Workers in private establishments in Caraga will receive a P35 increase in their daily minimum wage, which would be given in two tranches.

An increase of P20 per day will be granted in the first tranche to be implemented also on New Year’s Day. The additional P15 hike will be rolled out on May 1.


This raises to P385 the daily minimum pay of both agricultural and nonagricultural workers in Caraga after the full implementation on Labor Day.

“The new rate for workers in the private sector translates to a 10-percent increase from the prevailing daily minimum wage rate in Caraga region and results in a comparable 23-percent increase in wage-related benefits covering the 13th-month pay, service incentive leave, and social security benefits,” Dole said in a statement on Friday.

An estimated 65,682 minimum wage earners in Caraga are to be covered by the Dec. 5 wage order, according to Dole.

Some 132,000 full-time employees in the region with salaries above the minimum wage are also expected to indirectly benefit from the wage order “as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion.”

Dole had reminded employers to address wage distortion, or when substantial pay gap is diminished as a result of the mandated wage hike.

Those who may apply for exemption from the latest wage orders are establishments with a workforce of 10 and below, and those affected by natural calamities or human-induced disasters.

Immediately exempted from the minimum wage adjustments are microenterprises as defined by Republic Act No. 9178, or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002.

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Previous adjustments

The last time wage rates were adjusted in Caraga was in June last year when the daily minimum pay of private sector workers was raised to P350.

Last month, more than 150,000 minimum wage earners in the Cordillera, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions were granted a daily pay hike of P30.

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) welcomed the recent wage adjustments, but it pressed Congress to pass bills setting a P150 across-the-board wage hike.

“While inadequate, we welcome these wage increases as they provide some relief to our workers in relatively poorer provinces,” Julius Cainglet, vice president of FFW, told the Inquirer.

He noted that an increase of P50 per day “would not even be enough to cover the lost value of wages over the past year owing to the record-high inflation rate at the beginning of the year.”

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“We are steadfast in our calls for a legislated wage increase nationwide,” Cainglet said.

TAGS: minimum wage earners, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, wage hike

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