BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Tripartite Wages and approved Wage Order No. CAR-DW-03 that pegged the minimum wage for domestic workers in highly urbanized cities, first class municipalities and other towns in the region.
RTWPB secretary Augusto Aquillo revealed the minimum wage for domestic workers in cities and first class municipalities will be P4,000 while domestic workers in other municipalities will be receiving P3,000 monthly wage from their employers effective May 1, 2019.
“The Cordillera is the first region in the country to come out with a new wage order for domestic workers,” Aquillo stressed.
Earlier, Wage Order No. CAR-DW-02 pegged the minimum wage for domestic workers in cities and highly urbanized cities at P3,000 while domestic workers in other municipalities in the region will be receiving P2,500 monthly pay from their employers.
The RTWPB-CAR official explained that the wage order shall apply to all domestic workers, whether or in a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as but not limited to general household, yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person or any person who regularly perform as domestic work in one household in an occupational basis.
However, those who are not covered by the wage order are service providers; family drivers; children under foster family arrangement, and any other person who perform as work occasionally or sporadically and not on occupational basis.
The wage order provided that the wages of the domestic workers shall be paid in cash at least once a month and no deductions from the wages of the domestic workers shall be made other than that which is mandated by law.
In the case of hiring or contracting of domestic work services through a licensed private employment agency, Aquillo pointed out that the wage rates that have been fixed under the order shall be borne by the principals or clients of the agencies and that the contract shall be deemed amended accordingly.
However, in the event that principals or clients fail to pay the prescribed wage rates, the agencies shall be jointly and severally liable with his principal or client.
According to the wage order, no exemption from the implementation of the prescribed wages will be entertained by the concerned agencies on the implementation of the order.
Aquillo claimed that complaints for non-compliance with the wage order shall be filed with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional and provincial offices and shall go through the 30-day mandatory conciliation under the single entry approach program to exhaust all efforts for settlement.
The wage order stipulated that withholding and interference in the disposal of wages of the domestic workers are declared unlawful and 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 or criminal action by the aggrieved party pursuant to existing law, rules and regulations.
The order asserted that the employer shall provide for the basic necessities of the domestic worker to include at least 3 adequate meals a day and human sleeping arrangements that ensure safety and that the employer shall provide appropriate rest and assistance to the domestic worker in case of illness and injuries sustained during service without loss of benefits
At no instance shall the employer withdraw or hold in abeyance the provision of the basic necessities as punishment or disciplinary action to the domestic worker and that nothing in the order should be construed to reduce any existing wage rates, allowances and benefits of any form under existing laws, decrees, issuances, executive orders and under any contract or agreement between the workers and the employers.
The order shall not be construed to prevent domestic workers from bargaining for higher wages with their employers.
Household employers and their domestic workers may voluntarily and mutually agree to adopt a competency and performance-based pay scheme in setting and adjusting the pay of domestic workers over and above the applicable wage.
The latest wage order for domestic workers in the region has reportedly reached its anniversary and in the absence of a petition for wage increase filed, the RTWPB-CAR resolve motu proprio to initiate and conduct wage review, studies and socio-economic conditions of the region, including data affecting the interest of both employers and domestic workers.