Minimum wage earners in Central Luzon will receive an additional increase in their daily pay effective May 1, this year.

This, after the National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC) affirmed the newest wage order by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) that raises by PHP16 per day the minimum wage in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac Zambales; and Aurora.

Under Wage Order No. RB III-20, the new rate will apply to minimum wage earners or workers and employees in the private sector in Central Luzon regardless of position, designation, or status of employment and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid.

However, those who are not covered in the said 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 Certificate of Authority, pursuant to Republic Act 9178.

Under the new wage order, minimum earners in Central Luzon in the non-agriculture category and establishment with a total assets of PHP30 million or more will receive a P380 basic pay per day.

On the other hand, employees working in the non-agriculture category and establishments with assets of less than PHP30 million will have a PHP373 basic pay per day.

This new wage hike adjustment applies for minimum wage earners in the provinces of Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan and Nueva Ecija.

For the province of Aurora, the minimum wage rate is PHP329.

Under agriculture category, the new wage hike for plantation and non-plantation workers in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, will be PHP350 and PHP334, respectively.

Workers in the plantation and non-plantation in Aurora, on the other hand, will be PHP314 and PHP302, respectively.

Meanwhile for retail or service category, with 16 or more workers – PHP369 and with less than 16 workers – PHP355, for both six provinces; and, PHP264 in Aurora.

The RTWPB in Central Luzon chaired by DOLE Regional Director Ana Dione, has conducted regional consultations from February to March and regional public hearing on March 10 to gather inputs on the wage situation in the region.

In issuing the wage order, the RTWPB has encouraged establishment to adopt productivity improvement schemes, such as time and motion studies, good housekeeping, quality circles, and labor management cooperation, as well as to implement gainsharing programs.

The RTWPB also said that any person, corporation, trust or firm, partnership, association, or entity which refuses or fails to pay the prescribed wage rates in accordance with Wage Order no. RB III-20 shall be subject to penal provisions under Republic Act 6727, or the Minimum Wage Fixing Law. (PNA) ZST