THE Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (DOLE-RTWPB) in Region 1 has set at P2,500 to P3,500 the monthly minimum wage for domestic helpers in the Ilocos Region to enable them to cope with the rising cost of living.
The RTWPB Region I issued Wage Order No.RBI-DW-01, which increases the monthly minimum wage for domestic helpers (kasambahay) to P3,500 in cities and first class municipalities and P2,500 in other towns.
It took effect on October 2 or 15 days after its publication in a local newspaper.
Section 24 of Republic Act 10361, or Batas Kasambahay, sets the minimum wage rates of domestic workers at P2,000 a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.
Covered by the wage order are domestic workers, whether on live-in or live-out arrangements such as, but not limited to, general househelp, yaya (nanny), cook, gardener, laundry person or any person who regularly serves as domestic worker in one household on an occupational basis.
Excluded from the order are service providers, family drivers, children under foster- family arrangements and persons who perform work occasionally or sporadically, not on an occupational basis.
Last March, the RTWPB in Region 8 also approved a P500 minimum wage increase for domestic helpers in Eastern Visayas, and earlier in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 4-A and Region 6.
In the case of hiring/contracting of domestic workers through licensed public employment agencies, kasambahay wage rates shall be borne by the principals, or clients of the PEAs.
The DOLE has warned employers not to withhold the wages and interfere with how the kasambahay will dispose of or spend their wage, saying such withholding or interference is punishable with a fine of not less than P10,000, but not more than P40,000 without prejudice to the filing of appropriate civil and/or criminal action by the aggrieved party.