THE EMPLOYERS Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) said the Metro Manila wage board needs to come up with a “balanced” wage ruling for domestic workers, adding not all household employers can afford higher pay.

In a Dec. 2 statement, ECoP said it participated in a public wage hearing lead by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board — National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) which is hearing evidence to set new wages for domestic workers. ECoP added that it called for a fair salary hike that will consider the needs of the domestic workers and the ability of household employers to pay.

“ECoP said not all household employers are business owners. A large majority are middle-income and minimum wage earners who, like the domestic workers, are trying to make both ends meet,” ECoP said.

ECoP added that the board has yet to officially release the exact amount that it has set for its new wage order.

Last week, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that the NCR wage board has decided on a P5,000 minimum wage for domestic workers. This is subject to review by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

Mr. Bello added that he personally prefers a higher wage hike but granting a wage higher than P5,000 is beyond his mandate.

ECoP said: “Any excessive increase will impact the household employers’ ability to hire a domestic worker and maintain a family with two income earners.”

The last NCR wage order was issued on Dec. 16, 2017 and set the domestic minimum monthly wage at P3,500.00. — Gillian M. Cortez