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DOLE: Micro, pandemic-hit firms may apply for wage hike exemption

May 18, 2022 - Wednesday 4:05 PM by GDM

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The Department of Labor and Employment said that some firms may apply for exemption from compliance with the issued wage orders. 
Under the Omnibus Rules on Minimum Wage Determination, the following establishments may apply for exemption: Retail/service establishments regularly employing not more than 10 workers; and establishments affected by natural calamities and/or human-induced disasters, including the pandemic.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that micro establishments comprise 88.77% of the total business enterprises in the Philippines. 
“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 Labor department said. 
“The exemption will also provide a breathing space for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that suffered from the pandemic to resume their business operations and to fully recover,” it added.
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-NCR issued a wage order, granting a salary increase of P33, bringing the new minimum wage rate to P570 and P533 for workers in the non-agriculture and agriculture sectors, respectively.
The Western Visayas wage board likewise approved the pay increase for workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments of P55 and P110, bringing the daily minimum wage in the region to P450 and P420 those employing more than 10 workers and those employing 10 or less workers, respectively. 
It also granted a P95 increase for workers in the agriculture sector, bringing the daily minimum wage to P410.
The DOLE said that businesses in retail/service sector employing not more than 10 workers should submit their application for exemption, including their affidavit of undertaking and certified true copy of their business permit, to the RTWPB having jurisdiction over their workplace not later than 75 days from the date of publication of the Wage Order.
MSMEs affected by the pandemic should also 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.
“The granted exemption is valid for one year. Exempted establishments shall pay their workers with the prescribed and applicable wage rates in the previous Wage Order,” said the DOLE.