MINIMUM WAGE earners in the National Capital Region (NCR) will have to wait until early next year before they see an increase in their daily pay, based on the estimated time needed to process a wage petition.

Labor Undersecretary Ana C. Dione said the estimate is based on the first anniversary of the last NCR wage order on Nov. 22 and the time it will take the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board of the National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) to arrive at a ruling.

“I doubt within 2019 (there will be an increase) kasi sisimulan pa nila yung deliberation so baka sa 2020 naDepende sa pace nila (It might be in 2020 when we get a wage hike ruling. It depends on their pace),” she said when asked by BusinessWorld Tuesday.

“There are periods they will have to observe.”

According to the National Wages and Productivity Commission’s (NWPC) Guidelines No. 1 series of 2007, the duration of hearings is set at 45 days from the date of the first hearing related to the wage determination. A new wage order takes effect 15 days after its publication.

Ms. Dione said that the hearings will begin next month for the NCR.

NWPC Wage Order No. NCR-22 is the latest wage order, which marked its anniversary last week. The wage-setting process involves consultation with the labor and employer sectors.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said during a briefing Tuesday that a new wage order for domestic workers and maids in NCR is expected soon as the NCR wage board has determined a new minimum salary.

The last wage order issued for NCR domestic workers was dated Dec. 16, 2017 setting the monthly minimum wage of P3,500.00.

“It is now P5,000 for our kasambahay (domestic workers). It is way below my expectation… I spoke with the (NWPC) Director (Criselda R.) Sy and I suggested if we can peg our minimum wage for our kasambay at P6,000. But of course we cannot dictate to our Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board,” he said, adding that the wage order can be issued at any time. — Gillian M. Cortez