Retail and service businesses with no more than 10 workers can now apply for exemption from paying the new minimum wage rate in Metro Manila and Western Visayas. This rule also applies to micro-enterprises that have yet to recover from the pandemic’s ill effects.
The executive director of National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC), Maria Criselda Sy, stated that applications for these types of exemptions were permitted under the Republic Act No. 6727 or Wage Rationalization Act of 1989. She communicated the details via video news briefing arranged by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
However, the regional wage boards are not permitted by the law to grant blanket exemption to other employer categories. The omnibus rules on minimum wage are stringent, applying only to the above-mentioned micro-enterprises. It also stipulates helping establishments impacted by natural calamities, under which the pandemic falls.
Notably, micro-business operations that already have barangay micro-enterprise business (BMBE) certification from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) enjoy automatic exemption from the minimum wage rules. To date, 4,650 BMBEs in Metro Manila, while Western Visayas has 1,075 on their list.
The video announcement further indicated that it does not matter how many applications for exemptions they receive. The new daily minimum wage rates under both areas will take effect 15 days after their publication. These new rates are a P33 increase in Metro Manila and P55 in the Western Visayas region.
The National Capital Region Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) increased the minimum daily wage for establishments with more than 10 workers from P537 to P570, while Western Visayas increased from the current P395 to P450.
Meanwhile, establishments with 10 employees and below will now get a salary of P420 from P310. Agricultural workers will also receive P410 from the old P315. Domestic help or kasambahays are slated to expect P4,500 from P4,000.
The goal of these increases is to help the workers with the massive inflation of the prices of goods. The workers feel that it is a paltry increase but the employers, on the other hand, feel the pinch since they will feel the brunt of it all, along with rising prices of raw materials and other expenses to run their businesses.