Average pay hike seen unchanged at 5% next year in Philippines — survey

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
Average pay hike seen unchanged at 5% next year in Philippines â survey
Officers of the the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic or IACT inspect public utility vechiles along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City as the national pandemic task force starts allowing them to provide 70% of their seating capacity on Nov. 4, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Salary increases in 2022 are expected to be unchanged among Philippine companies and would be below regional average as local employers continue to grapple with pandemic disruptions, a new survey released Monday found.

A poll by New-York based asset management firm Mercer found that pay hikes in local companies will likely stay at an average of 5% next year, the same growth this year but lower compared to average 5.5% increase in 2019, or before the pandemic struck.

The survey polled 435 firms in the country across 10 major industries between April and June this year, or before the onslaught of Delta variant that disrupted many businesses again. If the poll’s results would come true, next year’s salary increase in the Philippines would be below the expected pay bump in Asia Pacific region in 2022, which is seen at an average of 5.4%.

To compare, companies in Pakistan are projected to boost wages by 9% next year while Japanese employers would lift pay a measly 2.3%.

“While pay raises have stayed constant in light of the pandemic, employers need to keep a close eye on inflation and how that affects the real salary increase for their employees, especially those on the lower end of the income spectrum,” said Floriza Molon, Mercer’s Career Business Leader for Philippines. 

“This has intensified the need for organizations to review compensation plans regularly and make any adjustments necessary to ensure their employees are paid competitively,” she added. 

The estimates arrived at that figure despite expectations that the Philippine economy will grow 6.3% this year and expand 5.4% in 2022, based on an International Monetary Fund outlook. This is mainly due to what Mercer calls an overall outlook that could prove “murky” as the past year saw consumer inflation rise and pandemic curbs compelled companies to downsize or restructure to save itself from financial ruin. 

Broken down across industries, survey results showed workers employed in the high tech industry locally will see the largest median pay bump at 5.8% next year, up from 5% this year. Wages in the retail and wholesale sector are projected to jump to 6% in 2022 while pay in the consumer goods sector is seen surging from 0.2% to 5.2%. 

Rounding out the list were the energy, life sciences and shared services sector, which are all expected to increase pay to employees by 6% next year.

“Talent in the High Tech space is in demand and it is no surprise that companies in the sector continue to boost salaries to hold on to their people,” Molon said.

“The salary increments for industries that are dependent on consumer spending like Retail & Wholesale and Consumer Goods, show that consumer spending is on the uptrend as the Filipino economy continues its path toward recovery,” she added.

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