Philippine labor

‘Laughable’: Labor groups slam meager P35 minimum wage increase in Metro Manila

Ralf Rivas

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‘Laughable’: Labor groups slam meager P35 minimum wage increase in Metro Manila

LABOR. Minimum wage workers perform tasks at a construction site in Quezon City on February 20, 2024.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

'Our minimum wages do not amount to liveable wages,' says labor group SENTRO

MANILA, Philippines – Minimum wage earners in Metro Manila will see a slight increase in their income, as the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in the National Capital Region (NCR) approved an increase of P35.

These sectors will see the following increases:

  • Non-agriculture: from P610 to P645
  • Agriculture: from P573 to P608 
  • Service and retail establishments employing 15 or less workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers: P573 to P608.

The wage order will take effect after 15 days from publication, or on July 17, 2024.

The release of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that the 5.7% minimum wage increas was based on wage determinations, as well as the three petitions filed by various labor groups amid escalating prices of basic goods and commodities.

DOLE said the new rates “remain above the latest regional poverty threshold for a family of five.”

“The wage order is expected to directly benefit around 988,243 minimum wage earners in NCR. About 1.7 million full-time wage and salary workers earning above the minimum wage may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion,” DOLE said.

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Labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) called the P35 increase “a disgrace.”

SENTRO said that despite several legislative proposals put forward by labor groups, the increase was “nothing short of a heartless disregard for the economic crises faced by our workers and families.”

The National Wage Coalition earlier demanded that the minimum wage go up by P150. 

“Our minimum wages do not amount to liveable wages. We have presented our arguments based on factual and credible research. And yet our efforts amount to a low increase,” SENTRO said.

The group called on lawmakers to pass proposed bills which aim to have an across-the-board increase of at least P150.

“You know the worth of your labor and more importantly, the value of your personal life and needs. And while this laughable P35 increase may be a setback, so long as we persevere, the fight for a higher wage continues,” the group said.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is pushing for an across-the board increase of P150 through House Bill 7871 or the Wage Recovery Act.

“The workers are humiliated by the P35 increase! It is a slap on the face of every worker, even the resource persons, who underscored the imperative of raising workers’ wages against the big lie that any increase is ‘catastrophic,'” TUCP said.

TUCP countered claims of DOLE that the increase is enough and can sustain a family of five, noting a study by the Ateneo Policy Center which underscores that a family needs P693.30 per day to have healthy meals.

“Worse, in 2008, the National Wages and Productivity Commission, chaired by no less than the Labor Secretary, estimated the daily family living wage at P917,” TUCP said. –

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Is the increase of P35 truly laughable? How does it affect these labor groups emotionally?

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.