Call for faster pay hikes for low-paid workers in the Philippines

Labour group Partido Manggagawa (PM) has urged companies to raise wages of low-paid workers faster than those who earn higher salaries.
By: | January 31, 2022

“This is one way to achieve inclusive growth, which is an avowed labour market agenda of the government, but is evidently not materialising,” PM secretary-general Judy Miranda said in a statement. 

She said the telecommunications industry is offering the highest entry-level salary at P20,000 (US$391), followed by the IT industry at P19,550 (US$382) and the communication service industry at P19,500 (US$381), citing a JobStreet report.

In contrast, the monthly minimum wage in Metro Manila is less than P14,000 (US$274) and has not increased in three years. In Eastern Visayas, the minimum wage is just above P8,000 (US$156). “This wage disparity in non-agricultural wages is bad for workers and not good for inclusion,” she said.

“We should remember that many workers, many of them women, are paid even less than the minimum. In the NCR, there are 1 million minimum wage earners but more than 800,000 workers are paid below the minimum. It is worse nationwide: 2.4 million minimum wage earners but 8 million paid below the minimum,” Miranda added, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in October 2020.

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As such, the labour group has called for a raise in the minimum wage through direct wage increases combined with price discounts, social security subsidies, and public services provisioning. The group also urged the abolition of regional wages and the institution of a national minimum wage, according to Inquirer.