Taiwan wage hike benefits Filipino workers

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Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Thousands of Filipino workers in Taiwan will benefit from the new minimum wage increase approved by the island's legislative body effective this month.

According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Taiwan's Executive Yuan has approved a recommended minimum wage increase of monthly paid workers from NT$18,780 (US$625) to NT$ 19,047 (US$634) per month.

"This is good news, not only for the overseas Filipino workers deployed to Taiwan, but for all workers [there]," Baldoz said in a statement.

Baldoz said the adjustment will cover monthly-paid workers, including OFW factory workers and those covered by the Labor Standards Act.

But she said household-based caretakers are not covered by the wage hike and their minimum wage will remain at NT$15,480 (US$515).

Based on Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) records, as of 2012 there were 41,461 OFWs in Taiwan.

"We welcome this development as this would benefit a lot of workers. We know the government of Taiwan ensures that the welfare of its workers is well taken care of," Baldoz said.

There are around 1.7 million workers who stand to benefit from the wage adjustment, the labor chief said.

The Executive Yuan (Executive Branch) agreed to the wage increase as Taiwan's GDP achieved a growth rate of 3.42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, and first quarter 2013's GDP growth rate will likely 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.

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