AN independent research group on Monday revealed that the P512 daily rate of workers in Metro Manila is not enough to buy the daily needs of a family with six members.
The P512 daily rate, which is the minimum wage per day in the National Capital Region (NCR), is the highest in the country.
The lowest is less than P300 per day, which is the prevailingrate at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), where laborers are considered one of the poorest in the country.
But that does not necessarily mean that Metro Manila workers are the richest laborers since their daily income is not enough to buy the basic needs of a family with six members, research group, Ibon Foundation, said.
Of course, the less than P300 daily wage of ARMM workers is definitely not enough, taking into account that the cost of living in the region is not high as in Metro Manila’s 16 cities and one municipality.
Ibon argued that as of March this year, the worker with six members in a family should have a daily rate of about P1,168, while P973 is needed for a family of five.
Ibon added that “[t]he onslaught of price hikes since early this year has made the mandated minimum wage in the National Capital Region even more inadequate for millions of Filipino workers to decently support their families.”
Based on its computation, Ibon said “the NCR nominal minimum wage still falls considerably short of the rising family living wage [FLW]. As of March 2018 worsening inflation has increased the FLW needed from the same period last year by P57.00 for a family of six and by P48.00 for a family of five [a 5.2- percent increase for both].”
Ibon blamed the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law as the main culprit in the worsening inflation, adding that that inflation will continue to rise in the next few months.
The minimum wage, however, has not kept up with the rising cost of living, the independent research added.
Lawyer Jose Sonny G. Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers, agreed with the Ibon Foundation’s findings.
Matula told the BusinessMirror that the “[purchasing power of the] mininum wage [has been] reduced by [the] inflation rate.”
“[The] present minimum wage [is] not enough to support a family,” he said.
Matula, citing data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority said that the price of well-milled rice and other commodities had gone up compared to last year.
Ibon, likewise, said that the P512 minimum rate is just 43.8 percent of the needed P1,168 FLW as of March.
“This translates into a significant wage gap of P656 or 56.2 percent,” Ibon stated. For a family of five, the gap was nearly half [47.4 percent] of the FLW, it added.
These wage gaps grew despite the regional wage board’s approval of a P21 minimum wage increase from P491 to P512 in October 2017, thus making the wage discrepancy just as wide as the same period last year, Ibon said.
The research group recalled that in March 2017, the nominal minimum wage in the NCR of P491 was 44.2 percent of the P1,111 FLW for a family of six.
Because it’s just a minimum wage set for one person. It’s not a family wage designed to support the household’s needs.