At least P88 has been eroded from the P570 minimum wage in Metro Manila due to the continuous rise in the prices of basic commodities, the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said Tuesday.
“We call on Congress to legislate a P100 across-the-board salary increase for all workers as relief from the shock of rising prices,” Rene Magtubo, PM national chair, said.
“The P570 minimum wage in NCR (National Capital Region) is actually just worth P482 by December 2022,” he added.
“P88 has been shaved off the real value of the minimum wage. Meaning, not only has the P33 minimum wage hike in June 2022 been effectively wiped out by runaway inflation, workers’ real wages have been pushed back even further,” Magtubo said.
The labor group thus called for a new round of wage hikes to recover workers’ lost purchasing power not just in Metro Manila but across the whole country due to the surge in inflation.
It cited that inflation in January 2023 reached 8.7%, slightly higher than the 8.1% in December, adding that the inflation figure was the highest recorded since December 2008, which was in the context of the onset of the global financial crisis.
“Inflation is higher in areas outside Metro Manila. The consumer price index for January 2023 in Metro Manila was 118.2, while areas outside it was 122.3, according to statistical tables released today by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). PM’s demand for a wage hike is based on a computation by the group using the PSA data,” the labor group said.
“We reiterate the call we made in May 2022 — before the recent round of minimum wage hikes in June 2022 by different regional wage boards — for a P100 wage increase. This should be for all workers, not just those at the minimum salary level, since all have suffered from wage erosion,” he said.
The group clarified that the wage hike demand is merely wage recovery.
“We are not yet even talking of workers claiming a just share in the fruits of their labor. From 2001 to 2016, real wages stagnated but labor productivity increased by 50% and the GDP doubled,” Magtubo said.