The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with SM Malls conduct nationwide jobs fair in celebration of Labor Day (May 1). Over 310,000 jobs are offered to qualified applicants. Photo shows applicants line up at Mall Event Center of SM Manila. (MNS photo)

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with SM Malls conduct nationwide jobs fair in celebration of Labor Day (May 1). Over 310,000 jobs are offered to qualified applicants. Photo shows applicants line up at Mall Event Center of SM Manila. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in South Korea are set to get an increase of 370 Korean won per hour or 7.1 percent in their salaries next year after the South Korea Minimum Wage Council approved the additional wage.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) will receive 5,580 Korean won (US$ 5.5) from the 2014 minimum wage of 5,210 Korean won per hour (US$ 5.14).

“The minimum wage increase is set to apply from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015,” she said in a statement.

The minimum wage increase was reported to Baldoz by Seoul-based Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay, after it was passed by Chairman Park Jun-sung during the 7th Plenary Session of the Minimum Wage Council.

“The voting was participated in by 27 councilors, with nine councilors with public interest and nine worker councilors voting in favor. Only nine councilors abstained,” said the Labor official in her report.

She explained that the wage hike was determined based on the following factors, average wage hikes by CBAs and income distribution improvement rates, which indicate the wage level of workers in the same category.

The increase, which translates to a monthly salary of 1,166,220 won (US$ 1,150.18) for people working 40 hours a week, or 209 hours a month, including paid weekly holidays, covers all workers as defined by the Labor Standards Act.

Foreign workers, including those working under the EPS are also covered by the wage increase.

Those who are not covered by the salary adjustment are those working in their family business and living in the same residence, domestic workers, seafarers governed by the Seafarers Act, and those whose ability to work is apparently low due to physical or mental disabilities, as long as their exclusion from coverage is permitted by their Minister of Employment and Labor.

Bay noted that the Council has yet to submit the minimum wage proposal to the Minister of Employment and Labor for public announcement and to give workers’ and employers’ representatives at least ten (10) days to raise their objection.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that as of the first quarter of 2014, a total of 319 OFWs (new hires) have been deployed to South Korea, 307 are skilled workers and 12 are domestic helpers. (MNS)