Minimum wage in the Philippines not sufficient for employees

Despite a rise in the minimum wage rate for employees in the Philippines, a study has shown that this increase has failed to keep up with food prices.
By: | January 23, 2024

Filipino employees, while seeing a minimum net wage increase higher from last year, may not be able to live off the amount earned from work.

This is the analysis from Picodi Philippines, an online platform focused on coupons and online deals for food, which also analysed how the minimum wage has changed in 67 countries, how prices of basic groceries have increased in the Philippines and other countries, and how the cost of a “survival basket” compared to the minimum wage.

Using the net wages that employees take home after taxes, it has shown that the minimum wage has changed in most countries compared to the year before, with the lowest wage rises given to employees in France (3.4%), Germany (2.8%), and Thailand (2.5%), while countries like Spain, Malaysia, or Vietnam are experiencing a frozen minimum wage process or have made no decision to increase their minimum wage rates at this point.

The countries with the highest increase in the minimum wage were Argentina and Tukey, caused by the huge inflation. Meanwhile, the Philippines ranked 33rd with the minimum net wage of ₱8,725 (US$154.85), which increased to 8.2% than last year (₱8,066 net, or US$143.15).

Using a basic grocery basket consisting of eight groups of products (such as bread, milk, eggs, rice, cheese, meat, fruits, and vegetables) that make up the minimum nutrient requirements of an average adult for a month as an allegory for the basic needs of an employee, the total cost of the “survival basket” at the beginning of 2024 is ₱5,776 (US$102.51, which is 8.9% more than the year before).

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This amount makes up 66.2% of the current net minimum wage, while at the beginning of last year, it was 65.8% of the minimum wage, which means that despite the increase in the minimum salary of Filipinos, it has not been able to keep up with the rise of food prices.