Makabayan lawmakers file bill for P750 national minimum wage

Mara Cepeda
(UPDATED) 'Isang malaking kalokohan para sabihin pa natin na mas mura lahat ng bagay kapag ikaw ay nakatira sa probinsiya,' says Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago

MINIMUM WAGE. The Makabayan bloc files the national minimum wage bill in the House of Representatives on May 28, 2018. Photo from Makabayan bloc

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Progressive lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc filed a bill seeking a P750 daily national minimum wage for Filipino workers.

The following lawmakers filed House Bill (HB) No. 7787 or the national minimum wage bill on Monday, May 28:

  • Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao
  • ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro
  • Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate 
  • Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas
  • Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago

Currently, Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act mandates that every region in the Philippines have a unique minimum wage set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) based on the poverty threshold, employment rate, and cost of living specific to the region.

If passed into law, however, HB 7787 would abolish the RTWPBs and set the daily national minimum wage at P750.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data show a family of 5 needs at least P9,064 monthly or around P390 daily to meet their needs. Independent think tank IBON Foundation pegged the number at P1,019 per day.

In a statement, Elago called on President Rodrigo Duterte to certify HB 7787 as urgent.

“It is high time for us to abolish wage rationalization. Isang malaking kalokohan para sabihin pa natin na mas mura lahat ng bagay kapag ikaw ay nakatira sa probinsiya, gayong hindi naman nagbabago, at minsan pa nga’y higit pang mas mataas, ang presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin at serbisyo sa mga rehiyon sa labas ng Metro Manila,” she said.

(It is high time for us to abolish wage rationalization. It’s a big joke to say that all goods are cheaper when you live in the province, when in fact, prices of basic goods and services do not change, or are sometimes even higher, in regions outside of Metro Manila.)

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the proposal still needs to be reviewed.

“It is beyond our jurisdiction. It is not [DOLE] but Congress. Pero dapat pag-aralan ‘yan (It should be reviewed),” said Bello.

After filing the bill, the Makabayan lawmakers joined Filipino laborers gathered outside the House to call for the swift passage of HB 7787 and to also protest the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

The Makabayan bloc had previously filed a petition urging the Supreme Court to strike down the TRAIN law.

Read the full copy of HB 7787 below:

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.