NCR wage board approves P10 increase

Manila, Philippines -- Workers in Metro Manila will have an early Christmas gift this year after the regional wage board approved a P10 increase to the minimum wage, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.

But representatives of workers in the board are planning to appeal the wage order.

Citing a report from the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-NCR, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Wage Order No. NCR-18 was issued yesterday after most of the representatives agreed on the amount.

She said the wage increase will take effect 15 days after it has been published in newspapers.

Wage board members from the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) opposed the new wage order.

"After the a thorough evaluation of the existing socio-economic conditions of the region, the RTWPB-NCR has determined the need to provide workers with immediate relief measures to enable them to cope with the rising cost of living without impairing the viability of business and industry," the wage order said.

This will bring the minimum wage in NCR for non-agricultural workers to P466 from the previous rate of P456.

The wage order also integrated into the basic wage P15 of the P30 cost-of-living allowance (COLA) given last year.

"The RTWPB-NCR also decided to integrate P15 of the existing P30 Cost of Living Allowance under the RTWPB-NCR Wage Order No. 17 into the basic wage effective 1 January 2014," Baldoz said.

The approved amount was lower compared to the P83 and P85 wage petition filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) before the RTWPB-NCR.

TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said TUCP will file for an appeal before the RTWPB-NCR calling the approved wage order a "big joke."

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