Philippines Wage Hike: Let The Wage Boards Handle It



The Philippines‘ regional wage boards would be the best people to decide whether to raise wages.

Furthermore, the president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines holds this belief, as it is an umbrella organization for employers.

When asked about his thoughts on the idea of staggering the planned P100 (US$1.78) wage boost over time, Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, responded, “Staggered basis is precisely what the tripartite regional wage board has been doing.” “The board should carefully examine, adjust, and weigh each of these increases,” he declared.

Joey Concepcion, the founder of Go Negosyo (the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship) and the lead for the jobs cluster of the Private Sector Advisory Council, echoed the sentiment over the startling pay increases. He supported the proposed pay increases but suggested phasing them in gradually.

Related link: Philippines Outcry Over Minimum Wage Hike Bill

Previous administrations that progressively implemented salary hikes, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR), are prime examples of this mentality. This comprised four pay hikes under Benigno Aquino III presidency, totaling P57 (US$1.02), and three wage increases totaling P79 (US$1.41) under Robert Duerte’s administration.

The Philippine Star reported that NCR workers received a P40 (US$0.71) pay raise in July 2023 under the current Marcos administration.

The planned P100 wage increase, according to Arsenio Balisacan, Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), will slow economic growth and increase unemployment and inflation.

Lastly, he went on to say that wage increases had to be negotiated at the regional level. “Letting those talks happen at the regional level would account for those notable variations in the labor market and economic conditions in those areas,” the official stated.

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