Minimum wage hike considered in the Philippines

Labour secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered a nation-wide review of minimum wage as oil prices continue to spike globally.
By: | March 11, 2022

All Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) have been asked to submit their recommendations by April.

“The skyrocketing prices of oil products caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine may be a compelling ground for the wage boards to recommend adjustments in the minimum wages of workers,” Bello said in a recent statement.

RTWPBs nationwide have been receiving petitions for minimum wage increases in their respective areas, according to DOLE.

“Setting and adjusting the wage level is one of the most challenging parts of minimum wage fixing. Minimum wage cannot be very low as it will have very small effect in protecting workers and their families against poverty.  If set too high, it will have an adverse employment effect. There should be a balance between two sets of considerations,” Bello said.

The recent spikes in oil prices would invariably lead to increases in the costs of basic commodities and weaken the people’s purchasing power.

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Oil companies recently set the biggest increase yet in the prices of petroleum products at P5.85 per litre of diesel, P3.60 per litre of gasoline, and P4.10 for kerosene.

If the global political situation worsens, energy secretary Alfonso Cusi has said fuel prices may even increase up to P100 per litre, according to the Inquirer.