The Department of Labor and Employment has started public hearings on the proposed adjustment of the minimum wage for private workers, including household workers, in the Bicol Region.
The DOLE initiative was in response to the proposal of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairperson of the House Committee on Ways and Means, who had earlier written a letter to Labor Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita on the issue.
In his letter, Salceda expressed his strong support for the request of labor groups for a wage hike following a surge in food and fuel prices triggered by the global crises in Ukraine and the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is to express my support for reasonable increases in the minimum wage in the Bicol Region, in response to requests from various sectors, including labor groups for meaningful adjustments in the minimum wage in the region,” Salceda said.
“I express this support both as a member of Congress representing Albay and as co-chairman of the economic stimulus and recovery cluster of the House Defeat COVID-19 committee,” he added.
Based on DOLE Wage Order 20, workers in Bicol currently receive a minimum wage of P335 per day.
Salceda, however, said that given the significant increase in the cost-of-living – 2.6 percent in 2020, 4.5 percent in 2021, and the expected 6 percent in March this year, it is high time indeed that DOLE reviews its last wage order.
“I express my strong support for the requests and petitions for wage adjustments to at least partly be subject to the deliberation of the board,” he said in his letter, stressing that Bicolanos deserve a wage increase and a reliable source of income following the high consumer prices surges.