Labor Groups Not Happy with PHP 35 Wage Hike

While the minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region is set to increase by PHP 35, labor groups are not happy with the approved wage hike.

A PHP 35 increase to the daily minimum wage is set to take effect on July 17, 2024, after it was approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

According to Wage Order No. NCR-25, the non-agriculture sector in the National Capital Region will now have a minimum daily wage of PHP 645. Former Senate President Migz Zubiri proposed a PHP 150 wage hike last year.

The increase in the daily wage from PHP 573 to PHP 608 applies to the following:

  • Agriculture sector
  • Service and retail establishments that employ 15 or less workers
  • Manufacturing establishments that employ less than 10 workers

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the wage hike will affect a total of 988,243 minimum wage earners in the region. 

“The new rates, which translate to about 5.7% increase from the prevailing daily minimum wage rates in the region, remain above the latest regional poverty threshold for a family of five,” the department said. 

In July 2023, the daily minimum wage was increased by PHP 40 after it was similarly approved by the RTWPB. 

Labor Groups React

Despite the wage hike, labor groups have expressed their displeasure over the amount approved by the RTWPB. According to a statement released by labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), the wage hike is “a disgrace.” 

“Our minimum wages do not amount to liveable wages,” said Sentro. 

Fellow labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) called the wage hike a massive insult, according to a statement posted on social media. 

In response to the dissatisfaction regarding the wage hike, DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said that appeals may be filed before the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC). Laguesma noted that appeals, which can only be filed until July 11, can be made by both employers and labor groups. 

“Any individual or organization, whether labor or employer, who feels aggrieved can file [an appeal],” he said in an interview. 

Is a PHP 150 Wage Hike Possible? 

Sentro further stated that “The National Wage Coalition (NWC), which represents workers across various sectors and industries, has demanded for a wage increase no less than PHP 150.” The labor group is also encouraging Congress to pass proposed bills that will make such increase possible. 

Last year, former Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri said he was pushing for a PHP 150 wage increase. However, this was opposed by business groups, who stated that this move can cause inflation and business closures. 

Rizal 4th District Representative Juan Fidel Felipe F. Nograles said in a statement that the Congress will continue to deliberate on already proposed bills, which seek a wage hike ranging from PHP 150 to PHP 350. Nograles is the current head of the House of Representatives’ labor committee. 

Ang nais natin ay makapaghanap ng magandang compromise na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng ating mga manggagawa, na hindi naman ikalulugi ng mga nagbibigay ng trabaho [What we want is to find a good compromise that can address the needs of our workers but won’t result in the bankruptcy of those who provide jobs],” he said.

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