Micro businesses, as well as pandemic-hit firms, may apply for exemption from the wage increase, the Department of Labor (DOLE) said Tuesday.
This followed the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) ruling out Monday the possibility of exempting all micro-enterprises from granting pay increases to employees.
NWPC executive director Criselda Sy told a virtual briefing the granting of blanket wage hike exemption was beyond the mandate of the commission.
The daily minimum wage of workers in the National Capital Region will increase by P33 while those in Western Visayas will be up by P55 to P110, the DOLE announced last weekend.
DOLE said under the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination small enterprises with few employees and establishments affected by natural calamities or human-induced disasters, including the pandemic, may apply to be exempted from recently approved minimum wage order.
“From the 2020 List of Establishments of the Philippine Statistics Authority, micro establishments comprise 88.77 percent% of the total business enterprises in the Philippines,” the department said in a statement.
“Hence, the exemption will temper the impact of the wage increase on the business operation of retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers. The exemption will also provide breathing space for micro, small and medium enterprises that suffered from the pandemic to resume their business operations and to fully recover,” it added.
DOLE said businesses in the retail or service sector employing not more than 10 workers shall submit their application for exemption, including their affidavit of undertaking and certified true copy of their business permit, to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards having jurisdiction over their workplace.
The required documents must be submitted not later than 75 days from the date of publication of the Wage Order.
On the other hand, MSMEs affected by the pandemic shall submit their affidavit showing the nature and impact of the pandemic on their business operation as well as Audited Financial Statements for the last two years stamped received by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier proposed automatic exemption from paying wage increase for macro enterprises.
According to him, these were still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising oil prices.