DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A minimum monthly wage of P2,000 for domestic workers in Davao is already “enough” and no longer needs to be increased, a member of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 11 said Monday, October 16.
“For me, there is no need to increase the (salary) of domestic workers. Tama na yung minimum na 2,000 (The minimum P2,000 is enough),” said Atty. Bienvenido Cariaga, one of the employers representatives of the RTWPB 11.
Cariaga was referring to the wage of domestic workers in Region 11, which is set by the RTWPB, an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Under the Republic Act 10361, or the Domestic Workers Act, the minimum monthly wage for domestic workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) is P2,500; P2,000 for those working in cities and first class municipalities outside and P1,500 for those employed in other municipalities.
Cariaga was at the first public hearing of the said minimum wage issue since the enactment of the Domestic Workers Act in January 2013.
During the hearing, Cariaga pointed out that domestic workers or “kasambahay” enjoy the privilege of “free meals and lodging” by employers, thus an increase is no longer necessary.
“Everything is free for them. They are not paying for electricity, even soap, everything is free, so that’s enough,” Cariaga told Davao Today in an interview.
Justify increase, domestic workers told
Rulfo Asis, who is also an Employers’ Representative at the RTWPB, said the domestic workers should provide a good reason why they are pushing for an increase.
Asis said there are domestic workers who leave work and transfer to another employer without prior notice from their current employers.
“Kung kailangan nating dagdagan, ano ba ang magandang sense natin para madagdagan, yun ang aming gustong malaman sa inyo (If we need to give a raise, we want to know the reason to agree to an increase),” Asis said.
Under Republic Act No. 10361, domestic workers working in the National Capital Region should receive not less than P2,500, while those in cities and first class municipalities domestic workers must not receive salary below P2,000.
Meanwhile, the minimum wage for domestic workers employed in other municipalities is P1,500.
DOLE 11 favors increase
However, DOLE regional director Raymundo Agravante believes the rate received by domestic workers should be increased.
“We really need to review that because there should be an increase,” Agravante said. There are employers, he explained, that already pay domestic workers a minimum of P3,000 to P4,000 per month.
After the public hearing, Agravante said they will deliberate to consider the points raised by the sectors to come up with a final rate of increase.
The RTWPB 11 has scheduled their next deliberations on October 23 and October 30. (davaotoday.com)