Wage board approves ₱40 hike in NCR daily minimum wage

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 29) — The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in the National Capital Region has approved a daily minimum wage increase of ₱40, which is 7% higher than the previous minimum pay, for workers in the private sector.

This raises the daily minimum pay in Metro Manila from ₱570 to ₱610 in the non-agricultural sector, and from ₱533 to ₱573 for the "agriculture sector, service and retail establishments employing 15 or less workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers."

Wage Order No. NCR-24 will take effect on July 16, 2023, or 15 days after its publication on June 30. The National Wages and Productivity Commission affirmed the order on June 27.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the move was expected to directly benefit 1.1 million minimum wage earners in Metro Manila.

DOLE added that 1.5 million full-time wage and salary workers earning higher than minimum wage "may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion."

The last wage hike in NCR was issued on May 13, 2022, and took effect on June 4 that year.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier hinted that a minimum wage hike may take effect soon.

Too little, too late?

Labor groups are not happy with the ₱40 wage hike, as they described it as too little, too late.

"To illustrate categorically, the ₱40 increase can only buy a kilo of a regular-milled rice or pretend it can for 2 kilos of that imaginary ₱20/kg promised by the president. The increase may not even be enough to cover the increase in the prices of onions [sibuyas],” Partido Manggagawa and Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa said in a joint statement.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) also pointed out that the hike was minimal compared to what groups have been asking for.

"Tinipid at binarat na naman ng gobyerno ang mga manggagawa. Kulang na nga ₱40 para makabili ng karagdagang isang kilong bigas para sa pamilya, wala man lang ito sa kalahati ng mga isinampang petisyon ng mga unyon at labor groups,” KMU said.

[Translation: The government has shortchanged workers again. ₱40 is not enough to buy one kilogram of rice for a family, and it’s not even half of what labor unions have asked for.]

Workers' groups have petitioned for daily minimum of up to ₱1,000.

"Lubhang kulang po ‘yung ₱40 na wage increase sa National Capital Region. Kami sa UWIN [Unity for Wage Increase Now] nag-file ng petition para dagdagan ng ₱530, ibig sabihin itaas sa ₱1,100 ang arawang sahod. 'Di namin ito pinulot sa hangin, bunga ito ng mga pag-aaral ng mga research institution," UWIN wage petitioner Allan Labahata said.

[Translation: The ₱40 wage hike in the NCR is not enough. We at UWIN filed a petition to increase this by ₱530, meaning the daily wage should go up to ₱1,100. We didn't get this out of thin air, this came from studies by research institutions.]


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