Make haste slowly on ‘wage issue’

Topic |  

Make haste slowly on ‘wage issue’

Topic |  

THE PHILIPPINE SENATE  must be deliberate, wise and holistic when it considers passing Senate Bill 2002  that will mandate a P150 per day increase in daily minimum wage nationwide.

The Philippines is still a developing Third World country (that is not yet fully mechanized) such that its production cost can be eaten in large measure by the “wage” expense on labor.

It would be a kind of legislated “hara kiri” (“Economic suicide” as Bohol PCCI head Dominic Butalid calls it) as many can ill afford it. Fifteen business groups in the Visayas are speaking with one loud voice to make known the sense to all that “increasing wages unilaterally is not as simple as it sounds.”

In the economic template of “land, labor and capital”- the interests of labor and capital must be symbiotic. Because both depend and affect the other. Wage keeps labor’s “body and soul” together who, in turn, helps the capitalist earn for the company profits.


Wages cannot be more than what capital earns ( before wages), otherwise, the company will close down. If the wages are fair and competitive, labor will help produce profit for the capitalists and engender the possibility of further wage increases.

Sometimes, capitalists have to invest in free “skills” development training so that productivity rises and improves profit.

The Philippines, being what it is- not all industries, company sizes and regional cost of living are the same. That is why while there is a Congress that would recommend a “one time, big-time” wage hike as Senate President Miguel Zubiri likes to call it, the so-called Regional Wages and Industry Commission was established to rationalize the minutiae of its implementation.

This is the only optimal way to legislate wages that are reflective of the economic realities besetting each industry, each region and each company (big, medium and small) 

This is the route that the proposed P150 across-the-board wage hike should be implemented. Not a P150- one-fits-all legislated wage increase that will cripple some companies.

Wages are not a one-way street, though. They benefit labor but the capitalist will add this increased wages to the cost of producing the goods or services and pass them on to consumers and users. It can be inflationary if not accompanied by productivity. The whole society will still suffer, just the same.


But government cannot just legislate and pass new mandated wages and sit on its butt. After all, the wage hike is precisely meant to allow labor to hurdle inflation ( or cost of living) which is still raging here at about 7%p.a.


Therefore, the government must find ways to correct expensive inputs to doing business and the cost of living: like the cost of utilities ( power and water), and government services and minimize corruption, as well. 

Keeping prices of basic commodities like rice, fish and meat must also be the government’s lookout. Increasing wages is just one myopic way of making people cope with the standard of living. There are many others-many in the hands of the government to do.

Government must also ensure it keeps the interest rate and the value of the Philippine peso in check. High-interest rates increase the cost of everything and a weak peso makes our imported goods (which are oil and most basic agri products) very expensive.


So while Government is busy containing inflation by various means, it must judiciously transfer the determination of specific wage increases to the regional wage boards. They have a better appreciation of the economic factors percolating within the specific regions- one never the same as the others.

Forcing unrealistic wage hikes unilaterally nationwide is disastrous and exacerbates the problem that the government aims to solve. It is like forcing the toothpaste back into the tube. Try doing this yourself, ladies and gents.



FOR NOW, AT LEAST IT IS JUST  The City Government that is giving our beloved pets the attention they deserve. We are pet lovers and we appreciate the recent move of the city government to have all pets “micro-chipped”.

Now, before you get turned off and curse that A-I or Artificial Intelligence is taking over our city, consider the benefits.

All pets will now be injected (for free, mind you) once a microchip into their bodies. This will be, somewhat just, a digital identification mark in their system forever.

With that device, the names (if any), pet type, ailment history, medication, clinic visits, address, and names of owners will be recorded by a central platform. Thus, pets (dogs and cats, for now) will have digitized IDs that can help monitor their location and keep a record of their pet history.

This is a laudable project of the city government with the cooperation of Petidentity. Lost pets can now be easily located with the presence of a scanner on the pet.

Accountability, when pets are involved in incidents like a biting situation or vehicular mishap, becomes easier. Rabies presence and regular vaccination schedule can easily be monitored.

There are only a few places in the country that has advocated for this extremely pet-friendly modernized digitization program. The Veterinary Office will soon be visiting some city sitios to expand the coverage of this pet program.

Dogs and cats have been one of the most endearing companions in many households, helping reduce anxiety and blood pressure and giving men a loyal companion who will love back their masters unto death.

We commend this exquisitely caring program. Hope that the whole province can avail of this new technology for the good of man and pets alike.

For comments: email to or

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply