Domestic workers in Metro Manila would receive an additional P1,000 in their salary this December as the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) approved wage increase last November 30.
GMA 7 news program "24 Oras Weekend" reported on Saturday that the order was confirmed by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
With the increase, employers will be required to pay domestic workers a wage of P3,500, instead of P2,500.
The adjustment covers "general househelp; yaya; cook; gardener; laundry person or any person who regularly perform domestic work in one household on an occupational basis."
The wage board clarified that "service providers; family drivers; children under foster family arrangement and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on occupational basis," are not covered by the order.
The board added that any violation of the order shall be punishable with a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P40,000 "without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate civil and/or criminal action by the aggrieved party."
The increase will take effect 15 days after the order is published in a newspaper of general circulation.
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) called the increase an "early Christmas gift for our kasambahays."
"We are happy that the wage board has granted the increase. With the falling value of wages , household helpers also needed the raise to cope with rising cost of living," ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said.
A domestic helper, a mother who also wanted to finish her own schooling, was brought to tears when she learned of the wage increase.
"Parang naiiyak ako. Hindi, natutuwa lang po kung sakaling matuloy po 'yan," said Marissa Merino.
"So siyempre, sila, yung sacrifice na mag-travel ka pa to manila just to earn a living for your family, they deserve talaga an increase." Marissa's employer chimed. — Margaret Claire Layug/DVM, GMA News