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Central Luzon wage hikes under deliberation

Labor regional director and RTWPB chairperson Geraldine Panlilio said the public consultations were conducted to determine the merit of the petitions from the point of view of workers, employers and other stakeholders

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SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — Regional wage boards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) in Central Luzon have finished conducting hearings on proposed minimum wage adjustments for private sector workers.

The hearings were conducted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) and they included increasing the wages of household service workers or “kasambahays.” The wage increase petitions were filed by the Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reforms.

Labor regional director and RTWPB chairperson Geraldine Panlilio said the public consultations were conducted to determine the merit of the petitions from the point of view of workers, employers and other stakeholders.

“It is not solely DoLE that decides on the minimum wage increase. It is the Wage Board as a collegial body that makes the decision whether there will be an increase and, if there is, how much,” she explained.

The regional directors of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) serve as vice-chairpersons of RTWPB with two representatives each from both the labor and employer sectors as members.

NEDA regional director Gina Gacusan discussed during the public hearings the different socio-economic factors to be considered in setting the minimum wage. These included the effects of inflation rate, the purchasing power of peso, consumer price index, and poverty threshold.

DTI regional director Leonila Baluyut presented the price trends on basic necessities and prime commodities.

“We have already heard and will definitely consider during our deliberation the manifestations on the current needs of the workers and their families, the capacity of employers to pay, and existing socio-economic condition in the region,” RTWPB secretariat head Jerome Yanson explained.

The prevailing daily minimum wage rates in Central Luzon (except Aurora) ranged from P395 to 420 depending on the number of employees and sector. In Aurora, the daily minimum wage rates range from P304 to P369.

For kasambahays, the prevailing monthly minimum wage is P4,500 in chartered cities and first-class municipalities while P4,000 in other municipalities.

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