The Labor Department announced today that domestic workers in Metro Manila will get a salary increase of PHP1,500 (US$29.50), raising their monthly minimum wage to PHP5,000 (US$98).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an interview with radio station DZMM today that this was approved by the regional wage board, although the amount he proposed was a little higher. “They added PHP1,500 but what I actually wanted was PHP2,500 (US$49), but that’s the decision of the wage board, and we have to follow that,” he said in English and Filipino.
Bello said the increase in salary will be announced in newspapers on Monday and take effect 15 working days after that.
Even with the bump, however, the minimum monthly salary is still low, a detail not lost on Bello, who said he had no say in the matter.
He said the wage board “were the ones who studied this, they were the ones who decided on this. We cannot influence them. But I really think it should be PHP6,000 (US$118).”
Bello also said that his department does not have the authority to prosecute employers who may fail to comply with this regulation.
“We can just give them a compliance order but we don’t have the power to punish them,” he said. “That’s a gap in our labor laws. I don’t want to complain but that’s the truth. We have a lot of orders but they’re not followed because we don’t have the power to enforce them.”
The last time domestic workers in Metro Manila were given an increase was back in 2017, when the wage was raised from PHP1,000 (US$19.67) to PHP3,500 (US$68.84), The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.