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Mar 20, 2015
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In case you're too busy and haven't watched or browsed the news lately let us tell you that the Department of Labor and Employement (DOLE) has finally approved a P15 wage hike in Metro Manila effective next month.

That means, starting April 15, all minimum wage workers within Metro Manila's private sector will now receive a monthly salary of either P481 (for those working in a non-agricultural industry) or P444 (agricultural industry). It's also worth noting that the P15 will be the fifth wage increase since President Noynoy Aquino took office in 2010.

Yey?

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Well, not really.

According to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the P15 wage increase is simply unacceptable.

Aside from the fact that the approved wage hike looks nothing but a short change in comparison to their petition for a P136 across-the-board daily wage, TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay sees it as an insult to the hardworking Filipinos in the lower classes.

"Is this how much the DOLE, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the National Economic and Development Authority—the majority members composing the wage board—reward Filipino workers who contributed to improve and sustain the country’s high economic growth under the Aquino administration for so many years?” Tanjusay tells Inquirer.net.

The TUCP also noted that, according to the collected government data, the real value of the current P466 minimum daily wage was P356.64, or P7,486.08 a month—more than a thousand pesos short of the 2014 poverty threshold of P8,778 a month for a family of five.

In a recent study made by the Ibon Foundation, it was revealed that the Family Living Wage in the country, or the amount needed daily by an average Filipino family to live decently, stood at P1,086 a day.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), on the other hand, says that the wage increase is too insufficient compared with the amount needed by the average Filipino family to finance their daily expenses. "[The] P15 increase in workers’ daily wage is not even enough to cover for the increase in fares in the country’s train systems," noted KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog in a statement. "It’s not enough to cover for the rising prices of basic commodities, especially food items, and rising payments for basic services.”

So, is the latest salary increase enough? Or is it really insufficient for today's cost of living? We're no statistician or finance experts, but we're kind of familiar just how much P15 can do for our daily lives.

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So, FHM Nation, what can you say about this latest wage increase? Tell us through the comments section below!

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