The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas has approved a “substantial” increase in the monthly wage of domestic workers or “kasambahays” in the region, including Negros Occidental.

This was confirmed by Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB-6, but said that as a protocol, the Board cannot yet disclose the amount of increase pending the affirmation of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

Sancho said the RTWPB-6 unanimously approved the new wage order during its November 6 meeting in Iloilo City.

The order has been submitted to the NWPC for its affirmation.

“Once affirmed by the NWPC, it will then be subjected to publication. Fifteen days after which, the new wage order for domestic workers will already take effect,” Sancho said.

With no opposition and legal impediment, “our kasambahays may expect upward adjustments in their salary most probably by second week of December,” he added.

Earlier, Sancho said the initial possible increase for domestic workers in cities and first class municipalities is pegged at PHP800 per month. The monthly increase for those in remaining municipalities, on the other hand, is PHP750.

Under the existing wage order, which already lapsed last February, domestic workers in cities and first class municipalities receive PHP2,500 per month while those in other towns are entitled to have PHP2,000.

“Our domestic helpers will have a substantial increase, something that is timely and appropriate Christmas gift for them,” Sancho said, adding that “the struggle of the labor sector has paid off.”

Sancho, also the secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Assembly (Gawa), said they are urging employers to respect the new wage order.

“The order will not only increase the wages of the kasambahay, it will also enhance their dignity as workers,” he added. (PNA)

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