Global HR Insights
Payroll

Philippines Minimum Wage Guide for Employers

27 February 2024

11 min read

Amanda Chua
Amanda Chua

If you search for the minimum wage in most countries, you typically find a straightforward answer — a single number set by the federal government. Certain states or provinces may opt to set their own minimum wage, but it can’t be any lower than the federal minimum. However, the Philippines minimum wage is quite different.

Due to the significantly different economic conditions across various regions, the minimum wage varies in nearly every part of the country, set by regional authorities. Not only that, different minimum wages are established based on the type of employment. This specific and flexible system makes the Philippines minimum wage quite susceptible to change. 

Suffice to say, for companies planning to set up shop in the Philippines, there is much to understand about the Philippines minimum wage to ensure compliance with global labor laws. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Employment in Philippines

Philippines minimum wage

The Philippines is a country with a particularly wide array of employment sectors, each with their own specific employment regulations you need to be aware of. Whether it’s in the agricultural sector or the diverse array of non-agricultural industries, different categories of employment have specific rights, responsibilities, and regulatory considerations. 

Agriculture

  • Plantation: This type of employment involves work in agricultural settings where crops such as sugarcane, rice, corn, and other plantation crops are cultivated. Employees working in plantation agriculture perform the work of planting, harvesting, and maintaining crops.
  • Non-plantation: Non-plantation agriculture includes employment in activities related to farming but excludes the plantation crops mentioned above. This includes working on smaller farms, raising livestock, poultry farming, and other agricultural activities that don’t meet the definition of plantation agriculture.

Non-Agriculture

Non-agricultural employment covers a wide range of industries and sectors outside the agricultural domain. This includes work in manufacturing, services, construction, retail, hospitality, information technology, finance, and other sectors. 

There are some key differences between these two sectors which include:

Wage rates: Agricultural workers are subject to different wage rates due to the seasonal and often unpredictable nature of agricultural work. There are also different Philippines minimum wages (which vary by region) for plantation and non-plantation workers.

Working hours: There are differences in the maximum allowable working hours for agricultural and non-agricultural workers. For example, non-agricultural workers typically have standard working hours prescribed by law, while agricultural workers have more flexible and extended working hours to accommodate seasonal demands.

Employment contracts: The terms and conditions of employment contracts will vary considerably between agricultural and non-agricultural workers. An example of this could be agricultural workers will only be hired on a seasonal or temporary basis, while non-agricultural workers will have more stable and long-term employment contracts.

Benefits and protections: Agricultural workers are entitled to specific benefits and protections under the law, like provisions for housing, transportation, and healthcare, to address the unique challenges of agricultural work. 

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) are government bodies established to regulate and set Philippines minimum wage rates across its different regions. One of the RTWPBs’ main priorities is conducting regular assessments of economic factors, cost of living, and productivity levels within the specific region the board oversees.

The RTWPBs also recommend adjustments to minimum wage rates based on their assessments. These adjustments are necessary to make sure that workers receive fair wages that reflect changes in economic conditions and the cost of living in their specific region. If housing prices spike in one area of the Philippines, the RTWPB may recommend a minimum wage increase to prevent workers being priced out.

The RTWPBs also play a vital role in resolving disputes related to wage and labor issues. They serve as venues for tripartite (meaning involving three different parties) consultations and negotiations between employers and workers’ representatives to hear grievances and make sure that labor standards are upheld. Also, these boards conduct education and information campaigns to raise awareness about labor rights and regulations among employers and workers, promoting self-advocacy and up-to-standard work environments.

What is the Philippines Minimum Wage?

In the Philippines, the minimum wage varies depending on the region and the type of employment. The minimum wage rates are determined by the RTWPBs and are frequently reviewed and updated based on the current economic situation of the region in question.

Payroll cycle

The payroll cycle refers to how often employees get paid their wages. In the Philippines, it’s common to pay employees on a monthly basis. That said, a monthly cycle isn’t mandatory and some employers prefer a bi-monthly or semi-monthly payroll cycle.

The choice of payroll cycle will depend on factors such as company policy, industry standards, and the nature of the business. Companies with foreign offices or ownership are more likely to adopt a different cycle, as monthly payment is less common in regions like North America. Ensuring a suitable payroll cycle can also contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction.

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Pay date

As the term suggests, the pay date is the specific day on which employees receive their salaries. Employers typically establish a pay date based on their payroll schedule and the frequency of payroll cycles. Employers need to communicate the pay date clearly to employees to ensure transparency and avoid any confusion regarding when they receive their payment.

Working hours

Working hours in the Philippines are regulated by law to protect the rights and well-being of employees. The standard work week consists of 40 hours, with employees entitled to additional compensation for any work exceeding these hours. Employers must adhere to these regulations to prevent employee burnout and ensure fair compensation for overtime work, as laid out by the Philippine labor laws. 

Night shift differential

Employees who work during the night shift, defined as hours between 10 PM and 6 AM, are entitled to receive a night shift differential. This is an additional compensation typically set at 110% of the employee’s regular wage rate. 

The night shift differential compensates employees for working during non-standard hours and makes it so employers have to provide fair compensation for working overnight. This additional pay recognizes the challenges and potential impacts on health and well-being that working during these hours can have. 

Overtime compensation

As we mentioned in our discussion of working hours, overtime compensation is provided to employees who work beyond the standard work hours or on rest days and holidays. Overtime pay rates typically range from 125% to 200% of the employee’s regular wage rate, with higher rates applying to work performed on rest days and holidays. 

Employers have to accurately calculate and offer overtime compensation to employees who work more than their standard hours to remain compliant with labor regulations and give their workers fair treatment.

The Provincial Philippines Minimum Wage

The provincial Philippines minimum wage is determined by a number of different factors, including economic conditions and the cost of living in different regions of the country. The Wage Rationalization Act (also known as RA 6727) lays out the framework for how and why to set minimum wage rates, taking into account the needs of workers and the current economic conditions in each province.

One of the key reasons for the variation in minimum wage rates is the differing cost of living and economic development levels in different regions. For example, provinces with higher living costs or more robust economies may have higher minimum wage rates compared to those in less well-off regions.

For example, Metro Manila, which is one of the most developed and expensive regions in the country, the Philippines minimum wage for non-agricultural workers is much higher compared to other provinces. As of 2024, the minimum wage in Metro Manila for non-agricultural workers is ₱570 per day. Compare that to the Caraga Region in Mindanao, where the cost of living is generally lower compared to urban areas, the minimum wage for non-agricultural workers is set at ₱385 per day.

By tailoring Philippines minimum wage rates to the specific needs of workers and the economic realities of each province, the government sets the standard to promote fair compensation and economic development across the country.

Changes in the Philippines Minimum Wage

As mentioned above, the Philippine minimum wage across regions is much more fluid and prone to change than elsewhere, shifting to meet the needs of workers. Here are some of the changes that have happened over the last three years:

2022

National Capital Region

  • For agriculture (non-plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱500 to ₱533
  • For agriculture (plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱500 to ₱533
  • For non-agriculture, the minimum wage increased from ₱537 to ₱570

Western Visayas

  • For agriculture (non-plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱315 to ₱430
  • For agriculture (plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱315 to ₱420
  • For non-agriculture, the minimum wage increased from ₱395 to ₱450

2023

National Capital Region

  • For agriculture (non-plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱533 to ₱573
  • For agriculture (plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱533 to ₱573
  • For non-agriculture, the minimum wage increased from ₱570 to ₱610

2024

Davao Region

As of 13 February 2024, the RTWPB for the Davao region has issued a wage increase of ₱19 to take effect on 1 September 2024. When in effect the change will look like:

  • For agriculture (non-plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱438 to ₱457
  • For agriculture (plantation) the minimum wage increased from ₱438 to ₱457
  • For non-agriculture, the minimum wage increased from ₱443 to ₱462

Navigating Philippines Minimum Wage with Omni

Philippines minimum wage

Understanding and managing the diverse Philippines minimum wage rates require careful attention to regional and industry specific variations. That’s why it’s important to pick the right HR tool and strategy to make the whole process less overwhelming. 

Omni’s suite of modules simplifies the task of managing the dynamic Philippines minimum wage. Through secure and centralized employee records, HR teams can quickly access accurate employment contracts and necessary documents for calculating minimum wage adjustments. 

Omni provides a comprehensive payroll solution tailored to Philippines specific requirements. With features like support for Philippine peso, automated tax calculations, and managed SSS, PhilHealth and PAG-IBIG contributions, Omni enables HR teams to streamline their payroll processing and ensure compliance with changing minimum wage requirements across the region.

Book a demo with our team, or try out Omni for a free 14-day trial to learn how our automation can help you remain compliant and reduce your administrative workload for all of your People management needs. 

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