Minimum wage in Manila

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My brother was offered a job as a delivery boy for a store in Manila that sells basic household goods and some school and office supplies. The regular delivery boy is a friend of my brother. He told my brother about the job when his wife asked him to return to their province because of some family concerns and he could not find any substitute. My brother needs the job but he is not sure whether he will accept it because the salary offered to him does not seem to be within the minimum wage.

Is this really possible? Aren’t employers supposed to give at least the minimum wage to their workers? My brother’s friend said that the store owner could not give any amount higher than the salary mentioned to him because there are about nine to eleven employees in the store. I would also like to know the current minimum wage here in Manila.Thank you.

Dear Gelly,
Pursuant to Section 1 of Wage Order No. NCR-20, which was issued by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board- National Capital Region (RTWPB- NCR) and took effect on June 2, 2016, the current daily minimum wage rate in Manila and other areas covered within the NCR is P491 for those employed in the Non-Agricultural Sector including private hospitals with bed capacity of 100 or less, while it is P454 for those employed in the Agricultural Sector, retail/service establishments employing fifteen workers or less, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than ten workers. Said minimum wage shall be based for the normal working hours which shall not exceed eight hours of work a day. (Section 3, Id)

Accordingly, covered employers are required to pay the specified amounts to their respective minimum wage earners, regardless of the latter’s position, status of employment, and irrespective of the method by which the latter’s salaries are paid. However, domestic workers, persons in the personal service of another and workers of duly registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprise with certificates of authority are not covered by the above-mentioned rates. (Section 2, Id.)

Applying the foregoing in the situation that you have presented, it appears that the rate of minimum wage applicable is P454, provided that the employer/owner of the retail store has in his employ fifteen (15) workers or less. Nevertheless, if the concerned employer/owner of the retail store regularly employs not more than ten (10) workers, he may, after application and approval with the RTWPB-NCR, be granted exemption from complying with the aforementioned minimum wage. (Section 8, Id.) The same rule applies if his business is a distressed establishment or his establishment is adversely affected by natural calamities. (Ibid.) The guidelines, criteria and procedure for the application of such exemption is specified under Rule III of the Rules Implementing Wage Order No. 20.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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