MANILA, Philippines – Assumingly, in the eyes of the law, all citizens are created equal; but in reality, some are more equal than others.
A huge population of Filipinos, despite the rise of incomes and profits for the wealthiest in the country, still earn the basic minimum wage for a day’s work, some as low as P235.00.
RealTalk collected data from the Philippine Statistics Authority about the regional minimum wage rates to show the disparity of pay for Filipino minimum wage earners from all over the country.
It is worthy to note at this point that costs of living and prices of goods also vary from place to place, and the dataset used featured rates as of Jan. 6, 2017.
Also, minimum wage can vary in the same region based on the sector where a company is classified. For example, in most regions, non-agricultural companies have higher minimum wage than agricultural ones, and retail and service-oriented businesses sometimes pay the lowest amounts. In this story, we have accounted for the lowest and the highest rates per region.
Metro Manila has the highest minimum wage rate at P491.00 a day. Calabarzon came in second at P378.50, and Central Luzon came in third at P364.00.
Central Visayas and Davao Region got the fourth and fifth sport when it comes to highest daily minimum wage, at P353.00 and P340.00, respectively.
It is worth noting that these top five regions is home to the most popular business districts in the country, and also houses some of the biggest cities and provinces.
A family of four needs at least P120,000 gross monthly income to be able to live a “simple and comfortable life”. Sadly, daily minimum wage rates across the country do not add up to this
Meanwhile, when it comes to the lowest amount a minimum wage earner can get daily, PSA data showed that one can get as low as P235.00 for a day of work.
Mimaropa and Eastern Visayas were tied in the top spot when it comes to paying the lowest minimum wage at P235.00 a day, while Ilocos region followed at P243.00. Surprisingly, Central Luzon also made it to the fourth spot on this list for having the lowest minimum wage at P248.00, tying with Bicol region’s lowest.
Central Luzon, indeed, has the biggest daily minimum wage gap, or the difference between the highest and the lowest possible amount any worker can get for a day’s work, at P116.00. Calabarzon and Central Visayas followed at P103.50 and P78.00, respectively.
Bicol region, ARMM, and Caraga are the three regions with the lowest gaps. Bicol region’s daily minimum wage gap is at P17.00, while ARMM’s at P10.00, while Caraga uniformly pays minimum wage earners across sectors at P280.00. It is worth to note, however, that these three regions’ highest minimum wage rates do not go beyond P280.00.
A report from the Philippine Star mentioned that according to a study by the National Economic Development Authority, a family of four needs at least P120,000 gross monthly income to be able to live a self-rated “simple and comfortable life”. Sadly, daily minimum wage rates across the country do not add up to this, even with two or three minimum wage earners in the family.
Unsurprisingly, our country’s daily minimum wage rate is not at par with some of our Asian neighbors, another dataset from PSA showed.
As of Dec. 29, 2016, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong are the places with the highest daily minimum wage among the listed areas in the dataset.
Japan’s rate is at $62.00, South Korea’s at $43.28, and Hong Kong is at $33.51 for a day’s work of a minimum wage earner.
Taiwan pays its workers a minimum of $28.52 a day, while China pays $10.50. At the bottom of the list is Philippines (Region VII) at $7.10, Vietnam at $5.18, and Cambodia at $4.67. – RealTalk, March 4, 2017