Marcos calls for review of minimum wage rates

People walk with umbrellas during a heatwave in Manila on April 29, 2024.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday ordered a review of minimum wage rates across the archipelago, taking into account the impact of rising prices of goods and services. 

Groups have been calling on the government to raise the minimum wage to keep up with the rising cost of living. 

“I call on the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to initiate a timely review of the minimum wage rates 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,” Marcos said in a speech on Labor Day. 

“I call on the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) 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 NWPC develops policies and guidelines on wages and productivity, and exercises supervision over the RWPBs, which implement incomes and productivity rules in their respective regions. 

In Metro Manila, the minimum wage for those working in non-agricultural sectors is P610 per day. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in the Bangsamoro region is only P361.

According to the IBON Foundation, a P690 across-the-board wage hike would increase the average minimum wage of P440 nationwide to meet the current P1,207 average family living wage.

The think tank stressed that a P690 wage hike “corrects decades of injustice where workers create huge profits for employers but receive meager wages.”

Workers from various sectors took to streets to call for the protection of their rights and protest the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP), which will force old jeepneys off the road. 

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