OFWs in Taiwan to get wage increaseBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino workers in Taiwan stand to benefit from a new minimum wage increase approved by the island’s highest administrative organ this month, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Friday.
Baldoz said Taiwan’s Executive Yuan has approved the recommended minimum wage increase of monthly paid workers from NT$18,780 (P25,813.30) to NT$19,047 (P26,180.29) per month.
“This is good news, not only for the overseas Filipino workers deployed in Taiwan, but for all workers in the country,” Baldoz said in a statement.
Baldoz said the adjustment will cover monthly-paid workers, including Filipino factory workers and those covered by the Labor Standards Act.
But household-based caretakers are not covered by the wage hike, Baldoz said, adding that their minimum wage will remain at NT$15,480 (P21,268.90).
Around 1.7 million workers stand to benefit from the wage adjustment, the labor chief said.
“We welcome this development as this would benefit a lot of workers. We know that the government of Taiwan ensures that the welfare of its workers is well taken care of,” Baldoz said.
According to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration records, 41,461 Filipino workers were deployed in Taiwan as of 2012.
In his report to Baldoz, the Philippine labor attache in Taipei, Rey Conferido, said that last year’s recommendation of the Council of Labor Affairs to adjust the minimum wage was rejected by the Executive Yuan due to the difficult economic situation of the country.
However, the Executive Yuan said that the proposed adjustment would be approved if the country’s GDP grew by over 3 percent for at least two consecutive quarters; if the unemployment rate went lower than 4 percent for at least two consecutive months; or if the Council for Economic Planning and Development would support the proposed adjustment based on its evaluation of the economy within the period.
In addition, the Executive Yuan also requested the labor council to deliberate on the process of minimum wage adjustment and consider the practicability of adopting multi-minimum wages.
The Executive Yuan agreed to the proposed minimum wage increase as Taiwan’s GDP achieved a growth rate of 3.42 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, and first quarter 2013’s GDP growth rate will likely to be above three percent because of the reported smooth development of the country’s finance, production management, and labor force market situation during the period, Conferido said.