Opening address at the presentation of the completed research on the Assessment of the Minimum Wage Policy Implementation

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the presentation of the completed research on the Assessment of the Minimum Wage Policy Implementation, 3 December 2021, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 03 December 2021
  • Honourable Commissioners of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC)
  • Executive Director Criselda Sy and other NPWC officials
  • Representatives of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards
  • Distinguished officials from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic and Development Authority
  • Our partners in the workers’ and employers’ organizations
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
Thank you very much for your participation in today’s dialogue toward adopting evidence-based measures to ensure that minimum wages are adequate, taking into account the needs of workers and their families.

I would like to thank the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) for this joint initiative to have a discussion on the current minimum wage policy in the country.

In December 2020, the ILO launched the Global Wage Report 2020-21. The report showed recent trends in wages, the global economic and labour market context, and the impact that the pandemic has had on wages, including number of policy recommendations to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis.

The report found that monthly wages fell or grew more slowly in the first half of 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For two out of three countries for which official data was available, it was found that the crisis is likely to inflict massive downward pressure on wages in the near future.

For the remaining one-third of the countries, average wages increased mainly as a result of substantial numbers of lower-paid workers losing their jobs, and therefore skewing the average since they were no longer included in the data for wage-earners.

In particular, wages of women and low-paid workers have been disproportionately affected by the crisis.

On the other hand, in countries where strong measures were taken to preserve employment, the effects of the crisis were felt primarily as decrease in wages rather than massive job losses.

This year, the International Labour Conference adopted a Global Call to Action for a human-centred COVID-19 recovery, a roadmap that commits countries to ensuring that their economic and social recovery from the crisis is fully inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.

We call for a human-centred COVID-19 response and recovery in building a better normal, through a measures that invest in people, their skills, their health, their social protection and that leaves no one behind.

Social and economic recovery will depend on the policy choices and coordinated responses to support labour markets, businesses, and enterprises, including efforts to strengthen minimum wage systems, review their levels, improve their articulation with collective bargaining, and ensure that they provide adequate protection to all wage workers.

The ILO stands ready to support the government and social partners in the development of programmes and policies to better facilitate a recovery in the labour market that is sustainable and equitable, particularly through the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) 2020-2024.

I wish you all a productive and successful discussion.

Maraming salamat po.