Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

Basic wage in Philippines ‘unjust,’ Filipino prelate laments

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, chairman of Church People-Workers Solidarity (CWS) of the CBCP. (Photo credit: CBCP)

With the prices of goods in the Philippines insanely high and the minimum wage still extremely low, the Bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos calls the current situation of Filipino workers ‘unjust’ as they struggle to make ends meet.

“The majority of the workers have been impoverished. So, if you ask me how the situation of the workers in the past years is, it has grown worse,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza quoted in Vatican News.

The prelate emphasized how the past wage hikes “did not match the increase in prices” of the goods in the market, which hinders them from living truly comfortable and financially secure lives.

The Philippines only had a 16.1% increase in the minimum wage from 2016 to 2022, making it one of the lowest wage increases among six administrations since 1986.

Bishop Alminaza explained how most of the workforce does not have health benefits or the security of tenure, putting their lives at even greater risk.

He even pointed out how the Philippines’ agricultural sector is considered “the poorest among the poor” despite its essential role in society as a food producer.

The Bishop is also the chairperson of Church People-Workers Solidarity (CWS). They have expressed support for House Bill No. 7568 and Senate Bill No. 2002, which seek to increase the minimum wage by 750 and 150 pesos, respectively.

Furthermore, Bishop Alminaza said his stance on wage and labor is largely based on Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti. In a statement, he said that everyone in the workplace must support and protect each other just like a family.

He called on company owners to treat their employees just like their loved ones, with the workforce being one of the vital capitals in running a successful business venture.

The prelate said an adequate living wage is “necessary and just” and that the Social Teaching of the Church calls for the faithful to “uphold the dignity of labor.”

“We have to give the workers what is due to them. That is the basic requirement of charity, of love – to give justice,” the bishop said.

The average monthly minimum wage in the country is only 8,902 pesos, according to data from the Philippine National Wages and Productivity Commission. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported in 2021 that a family of five in the Philippines must earn a minimum monthly income of 12,030 pesos to meet basic food and non-food requirements. If this is to be applied in real life, it means every family member only has 80 pesos to spend per day. 

As of May 2023, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., has yet to mandate any wage increase.-Luke Godoy


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.