KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 17 February) — “Kasambahay” or household workers in Soccsksargen or Region 12 must be paid a monthly salary of as much as P4,000 effective February 23, an increase of P1,500 from the wage rate prevailing in the region in the past two years, officials said.
Sisinio Cano, Department of Labor and Employment-12 (DOLE-12) director, said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-12) approved the adjustment raising to P4,000 the monthly salary of those employed in cities and first class municipalities and P3,500 for other municipal classifications.
“The decision to adjust domestic workers’ wages was done motu proprio (of its own accord) by the board considering that the last wage adjustment was made two years ago and that prices and the cost of living has risen since then,” Cano said.
Cano noted the last wage order was issued on December 10, 2017, which sets the monthly minimum wage at P2,500 for cities and first class municipalities and P2,000 for other municipalities.
Soccsksargen straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, (North) Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.
Jessie Dela Cruz, RTWPB-12 board secretary, said the new Wage Order No. RB XII-DW-02 was published in a local newspaper on February 8 and will take effect 15 days after, or on February 23.
He said the wage order will apply to all domestic workers, whether on stay-in or stay-out arrangements, such as but not limited to general househelp, baby-sitter (yaya), cook, gardener, laundry person, and any person who regularly performs domestic works in one household or on occupational basis.
Not covered by the wage order are service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangements, and any person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on occupational basis, he added.
The new wage order is the second wage order issued by the board since the effectivity of Republic Act No. 103611 or the “Batas Kasambahay,” which was approved on January 18, 2013.
The act instituted the policies and guidelines for the protection and welfare of domestic workers including the setting of minimum wage.
Last February 2, the P25 daily pay hike for minimum wage earners in the region also took effect and was implemented in two tranches at P15 and P10, respectively.
The daily wage of minimum earners now stands at P326 for those in the non-agriculture sector and P305 for those in the agriculture, retail and service sectors. The next P10 daily increase will be implemented beginning Labor Day, May 1, 2020.