BAGUIO CITY: The Cordillera Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-CAR) has approved a new wage order prescribing the new minimum wage rates for domestic workers in the region.
Augusto Aquillo, RTWPB-CAR board secretary, said the new wage rate fixed the monthly salary of not less than P3,000 a month in cities and first-class municipalities and P2,500 in other municipalities for domestic workers or kasambahay.
The wage order, to take effect after 15 days of publication, shall apply to all domestic workers, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as general househelp, yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person, or any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis.
Not covered by the order are service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangement and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.
Aquillo added the wages of domestic workers shall be paid in cash at least once a month and no deductions on their salaries shall be made other than those mandated by law.
In the case of hiring or contracting of domestic workers through a licensed private employment agency, the wage rates prescribed shall be borne by the principals or clients of the agencies and the contract shall be deemed amended accordingly. In the event, however, that the principals or clients fail to pay the prescribed wage rates, the agencies shall be jointly liable with his principal or clients.
The order provides that complaints for non-compliance with the order shall be filed before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) field or provincial or regional office and shall go through the 30-day mandatory conciliation under the DOLE single entry approach program to exhaust all efforts for settlement. The DOLE regional director shall issue a compliance order within 10 days from the submission of the case for resolution.
Aquillo explained withholding and interference in the disposal of domestic workers’ wages are declared unlawful and shall be punishable with a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P40,000 without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate civil and or criminal action by the aggrieved party pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
The order mandated that employers provide for the basic necessities of the domestic workers to include at least three adequate meals a day and human sleeping arrangements that ensure safety. Further, the employer shall provide appropriate rest and assistance to the domestic workers in case of illness and injuries sustained during service without loss of benefits.