Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that in 2015, the Department has ensured that Filipino workers enjoyed wage rates that are above poverty threshold.
“All minimum wage rates are now above the poverty threshold. In July 2010, there are 30 wage rates which are lower than the poverty threshold, but in 2015, the DOLE, through its reform measure, the Two Tiered Wage System, made sure that the gaps of these wage rates were closed,” said Baldoz during the DOLE Yearend Press Conference at the Labor Governance and Learning Center (LGLC) of the Ople Hall in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.
Baldoz commended the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and its Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) nationwide after the Department met its target set at the beginning of the year to close the gap between all minimum wage rates and the poverty threshold, and to raise them above poverty threshold.
In 2015, all Regional Wage Boards intensified its review of the regional socio-economic indicators, while adhering to the wage reform framework which calls for regular, predictable, and moderate wage increases.
The latest to issue a wage order is RTWPB in Region 3, which increased the minimum wages in Central Luzon to P15-P20 per day, thus, bringing the highest minimum wage in the region to P364, which is above the poverty threshold of P248 for a family of five. The Wage Order becomes effective on 1 January 2016.
As of November 2015, the RTWPBs have issued 10 wage orders, 11 implementing rules and regulations, and one Advisory on performance-based pay scheme. The 16 RTWPBs also produced 160 regional wage price situation reports and conducted 44 public hearings/wage consultations.
Aside from Region 3, the Regional Wage Boards which issued wage orders this year were the National Capital Region, which issued Wage Order No. 19 granting a P15 per day increase effective 4 April; Cordillera Administrative Region, which issued Wage Order No. 17 granting a P5 and 10 increase per day effective 29 June; Region 1, which issued Wage Order No. 17 which granted a P14 increase effective 19 July; Region 4-B, which issued Wage Order No. 7 granting a P5-P30 wage increase in four tranches effective 3 July; Region 5, which issued Wage Order No. 17 on 2 September granting P5 to P12 wage increase ; Region 6, which issued Wage Order No. 22 granting an P11.50 wage increase effective 2 May; Region 7, which issued Wage Order No. 19 granting a P13 increase in basic pay of workers in Metro Cebu and P10 for sugar mill workers; Region 8, issued Wage order No. 19 on 24 February granted a P6 increase and provided for the integration of the P15 COLA; Region 10, which issued wage Order No. 18 on 12 May granting a P12 wage increase; and Region 13, which issued Wage order No. 13 on 15 January providing for a P5 increase in the basic pay and P5 COLA.
The Regional Wage Boards also provided technical assistance on the design and implementation of productivity-based incentive schemes to 537 micro, small, and medium enterprises. Of these, 198 were documented and 59 establishments were awarded with Certificates of Recognition for successfully implementing Tier 2 of the Two-Tiered Wage System (TTWS).
The centrepiece of the DOLE wage reform is the Two-Tiered Wage System (TTWS) consisting of a first tier, which is the mandated minimum wage, or floor wage, set by RTWPBs. The minimum wage is viewed as a social safety net, as it is, to protect the most vulnerable sectors, and the unskilled new entrants to the labor market. On the second-tier, which is the non-mandatory component, workers’ pay increases and benefits are given based on productivity-based formulas contained in advisories also issued by the RTWPBs.