Household workers in Metro Manila to receive P5,000 pay

MANILA, Philippines – Household service workers are set to receive a P1,500 increase in their monthly pay starting January 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced. 

In a wage order signed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-NCR) on November 28 and shared with media on Friday, December 20, household service workers' new monthly minimum wage rate will increase to P5,000 from P3,500.

"The wages of the domestic workers shall be paid in cash at least once a month. No deductions shall be made other than those mandated by law," the RTWPB-NCR said.

The board said no exceptions to the wage order are allowed.

The new wage increase was signed by 6 out of 7 RTWPB-NCR members, including board chairperson Sarah Mirasol, vice chairperson Marcelina Alcantara, labor representatives Angelita Senorin and German Pascua Jr, and employer representatives Vicente Leogardo Jr and Alberto Quimpo.

RTWPB-NCR Reynaldo Cancio dissented "due to the lack of clear basis for the increase approved."

Who does it apply to? The order covers domestic workers whether or not they are employed on a live-in or live-out set-up.

It applies to:

It does not cover:

Aside from this, employers shall also provide basic necessities, such as 3 adequate meals a day, humane sleeping arrangements, and medical assistance when needed, without the loss of benefits. Employers cannot withhold these as "punishment" for workers.

For private employment agencies which provide the services of domestic workers, the order mandates principals or clients of the agencies to bare the cost of the wage increase. Contracts should likewise be amended to provide for this, RTWPB-NCR said.

If clients fail to pay the wage increase, both they and employment agencies will be made jointly liable for the violation.

What if wage increases are not paid? Individuals with complaints of non-compliance with the mandated wage increase can file a complaint with its regional DOLE office. These will be subject to a 30-day mediation process "to exhaust all efforts for possible settlement."

Violators of the new wage order may face fines of P10,000 to P40,000 and aggrieved parties may file without prejudice appropriate civil and/or criminal action.

Parties opposed to the wage order can file a complaint with the National Wages and Productivity Commission through the RTWPB-NCR not more than 10 days from the publication of the order.

The new order, they added, does not prevent domestic workers from seeking higher wages with employers. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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