Labour groups in the Philippines petition for wage hike

Calls for a living wage in Metro Manila have intensified as labour groups demand the minimum wage to be increased to PHP1,140 (US$21.01).
By: | March 24, 2023

A coalition of labour groups in Metro Manila has asked the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) – National Capital Region (NCR) to double the minimum wage in the region from PHP570 (US$10.50) to PHP1,140 (US$21.01).

A petition signed and supported by 25 national and local trade unions and employee organisations argued that there is an urgent need to implement a living wage in the region to enable employees to be fairly renumerated.

The petitioners also emphasised that the new wage increase is long overdue, noting that no wage order has been issued in the region between November 2019 and June 2022. Meanwhile, labour group Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa (Kapatiran) filed a separate petition in December 2022, seeking a PHP100 (US$1.84) wage increase.

READ: Employee union in the Philippines wants more financial aid

In response to the petition, Bienvenido Laguesma, Secretary of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE), said that the RTWPB can consider the petition and rule accordingly based on existing circumstances and justification being advanced by the petition. Despite the general rule that only one minimum wage adjustment can be granted per year, Laguesma believes that the filing of multiple wage petitions before the wage boards is not objectionable.

The latest wage increase approved by the NCR wage board was in May 2022, which took effect the following month, reported Philippine News Agency