Happy Labor day kabayan! Yes! Today is a holiday dedicated to all hardworking Filipinos who are working non-stop to provide and support their families.
If you’re a working Filipino individual like me, I salute you sir/mam for your dedication in your work. You’re not only a hero in your family but also to our country. Without us, there will be no progress in our economy. We should celebrate. Relax and enjoy the day!
Today I will share the history of minimum wage in the Philippines so we can see and travel back how our minimum wage changed over time. This will give us a grasp on how much it started before and how much it is right now.
By writing this article, I’m hoping that somehow I can give a realization to other hard-working Filipinos to properly take charge of their personal finances and continue to learn financial literacy that can help in their financial decisions in life. Let’s go!
1965-1986 (Marcos Administration)
During this almost 20-year period the daily minimum wage increased a total of 12 times. Increases were dependent on certain factors, such as location and type of work.
Under the Letter of Instructions No. 174 s. 1974, Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) was provided to give additional monetary benefits to workers.
In 1983, four wage orders were issued granting P1.50/day, P1.00/day, P3.00/day, and P1.50/day in response to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar and subsequent increases in petroleum prices, transport fares, et al.
1989 – present (Wage Rationalization Act)
In 1989, Republic Act No. 6727, or the Wage Rationalization Act, was signed, which created the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards. At this time, the minimum wage in the Philippines is P89.00.
The NWPC advises the President and Congress with regard to wages, income, and productivity; while the regional boards determine minimum wage rates applicable per region by province and industry. Since 1990, a total of 273 wage orders have been issued.
In the image below, you can see the history on minimum wage in Metro Manila (NCR).
From P89.00 from 1989, the minimum wage now is P466.00 (2015). That’s only P377.00 increase in 26 years. 26 YEARS! That’s my age! Joke. Imagine that! Our minimum wage workers were only increased P377.00 in more than 2 and half decades. That’s too small! Atleast for me.
We all know how hard and dangerous they work. Some of them are working all day under the heat of the sun and just getting those amount. Too bad. They deserved a raise!
Well, I know we have rules and law to follow so I’m leaving those sentiments to our government and our leaders. Hey leaders! Knock knock!
We also need to take in consideration the inflation rate on those times. We all know that years before the inflation is low and not as high as now. It changes over time. Price of our primary needs somehow is also low on those years. You can buy a lot of groceries on your P89.00 salary before.
Whatever amount we are getting, we should still learn how to budget. By learning how to budget we will know where our money goes. And by knowing it, we can remove those unnecessary expenses to increase our cash flow.
No matter how small our income is, we should learn how to properly take charge of our personal finances. Learn to set financial goals and start working on it even just little step at a time. Remember that small steps move us forward to our goals.
Additionally, we should also look for other source of income. We can use our free time to do some side business or sideline that can add cash flow in our budget.
Last month I saw a news on tv about MMDA selling turon while on his break and lunch. That became viral on social media and was also featured on Jessica Soho’s tv program. We can learn a lot from him and hopefully more and more Filipino workers find ways earning extra income in legal way.
There’s a lot of ways we can earn extra income without so much capital. We just need to be resourceful and creative. In the future articles, I wil share those information.
Whatever position we are in right now and how much salary we have, that should not stop us from dreaming and achieving more. Always remember that being happy and helping other people should be our ultimate goal.
Lets start small and take one step forward towards our goal. Each small step we take everyday will bring us closer to the fulfillment of our dreams. Happy Labor day kabayan!
Data sources: bles.dole, bsp , nwpc.dole and gov.ph
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