[In the news] Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances- INQUIRER.net

Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances.

By Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Workers in Central Luzon have been given a P14-increase in their daily cost-of-living allowance (COLA), acting Labor Secretary Danilo Cruz said on Monday in Manila.

Cruz said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) approved Wage Order No. RB III-16 in granting the COLA increase to all minimum-wage workers in the private sector.

The board “deemed it necessary to provide workers immediate relief from the rising costs of living, taking into account the interests of both labor and management, as well as the continued sustainability of business and industry,” he said.

Workers of non-agricultural establishments with total assets of at least P30 million in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales would receive P330 per day, Cruz said in a statement.

“Workers in the establishments with a total assets of less than P30 million shall receive P322.50 per day,” he added.

For agriculture workers in the region, except in Aurora, the minimum wage rates would be P300 for plantation workers and P284 for non-plantation workers.

For workers in retail/service establishments with 16 or more workers, the new minimum wage rates will be P319 while those with less than 16 workers will receive P305 per day. Cottage or handicraft workers would receive P284 per day, Cruz said.

In Aurora, minimum wage earners in the non-agricultural sector shall receive a new daily rate of P279, while those in the agricultural sector will receive P264 for plantation workers and P244 for non-plantation workers.

Cruz said retail/service establishments in Aurora with no more than 10 workers would receive P201 per day, while cottage or handicraft workers would receive P252 per day.

Prior to its issuance of the new wage order, RTWPB III declared the existence of a supervening condition on May 9, 2011 because of extraordinary increases in prices of petroleum products, transport fees, and basic goods and services, Cruz said.

“The Regional Board exercised its wage fixing function even if the previous wage order, which was issued on November 22, 2010 has not yet expired,” he added.

Cruz said that the COLA granted under Wage Order No. RB III-16 would be included in the computation of private sector workers’ five days service incentive leave, vacation leave, sick leave, paternity and maternity leaves, and leaves under Republic Act 9262, or the Victims of Violance against Women and their Children Act.

He added that the COLA would also be computed in the payment for 12 national holidays and three special holidays. It is also included in the determination of the premium payments for Social Security System (SSS), Pag-Ibig housing, separation, and retirement pays.


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