The wage boards of Metro Manila and Western Visayas have approved an increase in minimum wage for workers in various sectors in the regions, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Saturday.
For Metro Manila, workers have been granted a ₱33 wage hike, the DOLE said in a statement.
This brings the minimum wage rate in the capital region to ₱570 for the non-agriculture sector and ₱533 for the agriculture sector.
The move is expected to protect around one million minimum wage earners in private establishments “from undue low pay,” the DOLE said.
“The increase considered the restoration of the purchasing power of minimum wage earners because of the escalating prices of basic goods, commodities, and petroleum products,” it explained.
Meanwhile, here are the wage increases as approved by the wage board in Western Visayas:
Non-agriculture, industrial, and commercial establishments: ₱55 and ₱110. It brings daily minimum wage to ₱450 and ₱420 for those employing more than 10 workers and those employing 10 or less workers, respectively.
Agriculture sector: ₱95. It brings daily minimum wage to ₱410.
The board has also approved a ₱500 wage increase for domestic workers which is expected to benefit over 100,000 individuals.
The new wage orders are now up for review and shall take effect 15 days after newspaper publication, according to the DOLE.
However, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said the increase was too little and it came too late for workers.
The group said in a statement that the hike may have no impact on workers and their families given the continuing rise in prices of goods and services.
TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay also told CNN Philippines that the group plans to push for the amendment of the Wage Rationalization Act of 1989 and the removal of the wage boards. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1989/06/09/republic-act-no-6727/
“Kinakailangan baguhin at amiyendahan ang tatlumpu’t taong batas dahil hindi na ito akma. Ipinapakita nito ngayon na pinopromote ng wage boards, ng Department of Labor and Employment, ang cheap labor dito sa ating bansa para magarantiya ang profit ng mga papasok na mga investors,” Tanjusay said on CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend.
[Translation: We need to change and amend the 30-year-old law because it is no longer appropriate. It shows that the wage boards and the Department of Labor and Employment promote cheap labor in our country to guarantee profit for incoming investors]
Tanjusay also proposed other measures such as reducing the excise tax, temporarily removing the value added tax and lowering power rates.
He said there is a need to engage with and urge the incoming administration to prioritize more wage hikes and pass a bill that would end the practice of endo or contractualization.