Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) expressed his expectation that daily minimum wages will increase in all regions by the end of the year.
This anticipation is based on the actions undertaken by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs).
“Nakikita ko po sa direksyon ng kanilang ginagawang proseso baka hindi ho maglilipat taon, lahat po ng mga regions meron na pong adjustments,” Laguesma told Dobol B TV in an interview.
The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has recently given its approval to the wage increase orders that the RTWPBs submitted in three regions: Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Soccsksargen.
Asked about other regions with pending possible wage hikes, Laguesma said that so far only six regions have finished their processes—the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Cagayan, Central Luzon, and Soccsksargen.
Laguesma also stated that three other regions are currently in the process of conducting public hearings, which wage deliberations and the issuance of wage orders will follow.
These wage increases are in response to either the initiative of the regional wage board or petitions from labor organizations due to the rising costs of essential goods and commodities.
Each regional wage board, which includes representatives from the government, management, and labor sectors, conducts public hearings and wage deliberations to determine appropriate wage increases.
Nationwide minimum wage hike possible before end-2023
There are certain exemptions from wage increases, including retail or service establishments that employ no more than 10 workers and businesses affected by natural disasters or human-induced disasters.
Additionally, barangay micro business enterprises (BMBEs) are not subject to the minimum wage law, as clarified by DOLE.
In terms of magnitude, the number of employed persons was posted at 48.26 million in May 2023, higher than the reported number of employed persons in the same period last year at 46.08 million.
The country‘s unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in May 2023 from 6.0 percent in May 2022 and 4.5 percent in April 2023. The May 2023 unemployment rate was the second lowest since April 2005, following the 4.2 percent unemployment rate in November 2022.