New wage hike in Filipino region met with disapproval 

A new wage increase, which looks to raise salaries by P30, is not enough to provide relief to employees in Western Visayas, say critics.
By: | October 26, 2023

The P30 (US$0.53) wage increase for minimum wage earners in the Western Visayas administrative region of the Philippines has drawn criticism amongst representatives of the labour and business sectors in Negros Occidental, the Philippines, the Manila Times reported.

Wennie Sancho, Secretary-General, General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA), said that the P30 hike is insufficient. “The increase should be P50 (US $0.88) which is closer to the P55 (US $0.97) daily wage hike which was implemented in June last year,” said Sancho, a former labour representative to the wage board. P30, he added, would not help households cope up with the current high prices of basic goods and commodities.

However, Sancho said they will not file any opposition to the wage order because the process of doing so was too costly for the management sector.

Meanwhile, Frank Carbon, Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) commented, “The law on wage setting is flawed because it does not take into account the sales and productivity of businesses. It should take into account the commensurate increase in sales brought about by labour’s productivity.”

He added that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-6, which approved the wage increase, has failed to investigate the productivity of the business sector, with many business owners being unable to afford the increase as they are still affected from the losses incurred from the pandemic and high prices from basic goods and commodities.

READ MORE: Employers in the Philippines wary of wage hike’s cost impact

The new pay hike, which grants a P30 increase across all sectors in Western Visayas, will bring the minimum daily pay to P480 (US $8.45) for employees in non-agriculture establishments with more than 10 employees, P450 (US$7.92) for non-agriculture establishments with 10 employees or less, and P440 (US$7.74) for employees in agriculture. The organisation has also approved Wage Order RB VI-DW-05, which sees a monthly increase of P500 (US$8.80) for domestic work employees, bringing the monthly wage rate to P5,000 (US $87.99). All the pay hikes will take effect on November 16 this year.