Neda warns against additional wage increases

Focus should be on employment generation, says Neda chief


The National Economic and Development Authority has warned against additional wage increases, saying it would be imprudent at the moment given efforts to bring down unemployment rate in the country.

Neda director general Arsenio Balisacan said any further increase in wages over the short term would drag efforts to create more jobs and reduce the jobless rate.

“We cannot afford to further raise wages at this time when the unemployment rate is still high. What should be done is to open more employment opportunities so that more people can find work,” Balisacan said.

Recent data showed the unemployment rate in the country rose to 7.3 percent in July from 7 percent in the same month last year. This was despite a robust economic growth during the period that made the Philippines one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

According to the Neda, jobs were created as the economy grew but the the rate of increase was slower than the expansion of the country’s labor force.

The wage board for the National Capital Region last week approved a P10 per day increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila, raising the total to P466 per day.

Balisacan said the amount approved was meant to avoid eroding the purchasing power of the average household.

However, according to Balisacan, wage hikes at the moment run counter to efforts to reduce the unemployment rate.

He said any proposal to further raise wages over the short term should be shelved. He stressed the need to focus efforts on making the country more attractive to investors and on creating more jobs.

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  • Garo Ungaro

    Set the wages in 3 categories the average labor, skilled labor, open category the R&D group peg it on a short term of (5) years, up or down stick on it…see where will it lead us…Labor wages incentives,motivations is one key element to progress, anemic labor wages tend to stagnates,depress the economy?…

  • Ben

    Wage raise should commensurate with their skills such as those in the professional field to help keep our skilled technical, medical and others to remain in our country and reduce brain drain. The minimum wage should only apply to those unskilled and those starting but not for those with years in the profession, those with leadership talents and innovators, as well as those taking constant continuing education to polish and increase their expertise. This decision must not be given to the regional wage board to set (although policy still has to come from them to set the rules for a healthy competition), but for individual businesses to decide to encourage competition, accountability, quality and innovation as well as R&D to develop to the fullest. If individual workers with inventor`s mind can be free from regulation, they can keep their mind to their craft (Intellectual pursuit) rather than their stomach…..

  • Iggy Ramirez

    Great. Now the more reason to leave this god-forsaken country.

    The rate of unemployment is high not because people could not find work but because people lost interest in being employed with a pathetic salary. You pay your taxes diligently, or forcibly, and then your senators will give away billions of your hard earned money to some soulless pigs to splurge on extravagant homes, front seat concert rows, flashy Ferrari cars, and expensive designer bags at Celine.

    Where is the justice in that when all we could afford is a shoddy bed in a cruddy and tiny room that smells of cockroaches.

    Reduce the tax so you will have more reason not to increase the salary. More salary means more tax. So would you still like to work in the Philippines? Yeah. Right.

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