Nationwide wage hike remains on track in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Senate continues to consider nationwide wage hikes in response to public demand for fair compensation.
By: | July 20, 2023

In response to the P40 (US$0.73) increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila, the Senate of the Philippines is resolute in its commitment to raising wages for all employees across the country through a legislated wage hike.

Juan Miguel Zubiri, President of the Senate of the Philippines, expressed confidence in the Senate’s responsiveness to the public demand for wage increases, as revealed in a nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia, which showed that 44% of respondents identified increasing employees’ pay as the second most crucial issue, following controlling inflation at 63%. Regarding the proposal to raise the daily minimum wage of private sector employees by P150 (US$2.75), 97% of the survey respondents expressed agreement with the idea.

Organisations, however, oppose a legislated wage hike and favoured the utilisation of tripartite regional boards to determine wages. They argued that a Congress-mandated increase could lead to job losses and business closures.

Zubiri proposed a uniform P150 minimum wage increase nationwide, with various possible approaches to achieve this goal. One option is to make it graduated, such as adding P100 (US$1.83) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and P150 in other regions or setting P110 (US$2.01) for Metro Manila and P150 for the rest.

READ MORE: Proposed wage hike continues to cause division in the Philippines

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) urged employers in Metro Manila to grant an across-the-board wage adjustment to all employees to prevent potential labour disputes and enhance overall workplace productivity. The FFW emphasised that this approach would address potential wage distortion issues caused by the recent P40 increase in the minimum wage.

According to Jun Ramirez, Vice-President of FFW, granting pay hikes across all employee categories, especially among rank-and-file employees, is the most effective method to address wage distortion concerns and ensure fairness among employees. The FFW believes that employees earning P590 (US$10.81), P610 (US$11.18), and P620 (US$11.36) should also receive adjustments to maintain wage hierarchy integrity and avoid unfair treatment of employees, reported Philstar.