P14 added to minimum wage in Central Luzon

Effective November 22, 2010, a new COLA (cost of living allowance) of FOURTEEN PESOS (P14.00) shall be granted to all minimum wage earners in Region III (Central Luzon). Private sector employees will be happy to know that this year's 13th month pay is covered by the new COLA. The wage increase is applicable for 8-hours per day work. Below is the reference chart for wage adjustments in various private sectors:

[Reference: Section 2. NEW MINIMUM WAGE RATES. Wage Order No. RBIII-15, “Setting the Minimum Wage in Region III.” Published in Sunstar-Pampanga, November 07, 2010.]

The following sectors, however, may be exempted from the new minimum wage:

1. Retail and service establishments with no more than ten (10) workers employed at the time of publication of the Wage Order;

2. Distressed establishments, as defined in the NWPC Guidelines No. 2, Series of 2007;

3. Garment exporting firms, including indirect exporters, with at least 50% export sales and with forward contracts with their foreign buyers/ principals entered into on or twelve (12) months before the effectivity of the Wage Order and without escalation clauses with respect to the contract prices thereof, may be exempt during the lifetime of said contract but not exceeding twelve (12) months from effectivity of the Wage Order.

Not covered as well by the Wage Order are household or domestic helpers and persons employed in the personal service of another including family drivers and workers of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with certificates of authority.

The new wage adjustment was the result of deliberations by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-Region III after a series of sectoral consultations and public hearings held on August and September 2010.