Philippine labor

On Labor Day, Marcos orders review of workers’ minimum wage

Dwight de Leon

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On Labor Day, Marcos orders review of workers’ minimum wage

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

Jire Carreon/Rappler

President Marcos says the minimum wage review of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards will give 'due consideration to the impact of inflation, among others'

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. marked Labor Day in the Philippines with an order to reassess workers’ average salaries, citing the continuing rising prices of goods.

“As President, I call upon the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPBs), to initiate a timely review of the minimum wage in their respective region with due consideration to the impact of inflation among others, within 60 days prior to the anniversary of their latest wage order,” he said in a speech in Malacañang on Wednesday, May 1.

“I call on the National Wages and Productivity Commission to review its rules to ensure that the boards are able to maintain a regular and predictable schedule of wage review, issuance, and effectivity to reduce uncertainty and enhance fairness for all stakeholders,” he added.

The RTWPBs are the ones that set the minimum wages per region. In Metro Manila, that’s P610 per day, but inflation has eroded its real value.

Economic think tank IBON Foundation said that as of January this year, a family of five in the capital region needs P1,193 per day to live decently.

The last time Congress passed a law increasing the national salary was in 1989, when the Wage Rationalization Act raised the minimum wage by P25 from P64.

In the Senate, there is a pending bill seeking to legislate a P100 across-the-board minimum wage increase for private sector workers, but the proposal has been met with pushback from other government officials who argue that it may hurt micro, small, and medium enterprises.

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IBON Foundation, however, insisted that a wage hike would result in better economic activity, since workers who earn more are likely to spend their money. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.