While the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila remains at up to P570, its value will decrease more and more — because of the rate of increase in prices.
Senate President Migz Zubiri, on Tuesday, filed the Senate Bill 2002, which plans to add P150 to the daily minimum wage in the private sector. This was one day after the Gabriela party-list filed House Bill 7568, which wanted to make the daily minimum in the entire Philippines P750.
“Given the urgency of the situation, a legislated wage increase is called for to ease the effect of wage erosion brought about by inflation,” Zubiri said in his explanatory note, while February inflation was at 8.6%.
“This measure proposes a Php150.00 across the board increase in the minimum wage of workers in the private sector to cover food, water, fuel, electricity, clothing, transportation, rent, communications and other personal needs.”
Looking at the rate of increase in commodity prices, it is almost triple now compared to February 2022 (at only 3%).
Zubiri added conditions are worse outside the National Capital Region, where the minimum wage is lower: it is the lowest at P316/day in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for the non-agriculture sector.
Senator pushes for additional P150/day minimum wage
“According to Ibon Foundation, the gap between workers’ wages and the estimated family living wage continues to widen,” according to the senator.
“As of January 2023, a family in NCR will need a daily living wage of Php1,161. This is almost double than the highest pay received by a minimum wage worker in the region.”
Kilusang Mayo Uno, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and Partido ng Manggagawa have been calling for a wage hike for a long time. Despite this, the Regional Wages and Productivity Boards can only issue a new wage order once a year under the law — unless there are “unusual economic incidents.”
If passed into law, it will oblige all employers in the private sector (whether agricultural or non-agricultural) to increase their workers’ wages “across-the-board” by P150 per day.
Even so, nothing will stop the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards from granting additional increases based on Republic Act 6727.
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