Salary Increase In The Provinces: Which Regions Have Raised Minimum Wage?
In years past, many Filipinos from rural areas sought to move to Metro Manila to find greener pastures. But when the pandemic hit, the Philippines experienced a reverse exodus. With job losses and economic hardship, plus with the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2) in place, most internal migrants returned to their provinces, where they had stronger social networks and could access more support.
With the effects of the pandemic subsiding, a few rural dwellers have returned to the city. However, the appeal of staying in the provinces remains strong. The recent increase in the minimum wage in the provinces has also made it more attractive for people to stay in their hometowns.
Now that there has been a rising availability of skilled workers in the provinces, the question for provincial employers looms: Is it time to make substantial investments in their workforce?
Provincial Minimum Wage Overview
Before anything else, look at provincial minimum wage rates in the Philippines. These rates vary by region, considering the cost of living and other unique factors. Minimum wage rates play a vital role in ensuring workers receive fair labor compensation.
2022 Provincial Rate Minimum Wage Hikes
The Philippine government has raised minimum wage rates in several provinces in 2022. The wage increases are likely due to the rising cost of living, inflation, and the need to address income disparities.
Here are the regions that have increased their provincial minimum wage in 2022, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Daily Minimum Wage Rates
New Minimum Wage Rate
National Capital Region
Cordillera Administrative Region
Region I (Ilocos Region)
Region II (Cagayan Valley Region)
Region III (Central Luzon)
Region IV-A (CALABARZON)
Region IV-A (MIMAROPA)
Region V (Bicol Region)
Region VI (Western Visayas)
Region VII (Central Visayas)
Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)
Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
On January 1 and 2, 2023, DOLE again increased the provincial minimum wage for private sectors in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region II (Cagayan Valley), Region III (Central Luzon), Region XI (Davao Region), and Region VIII (Eastern Visayas). The rest of the provincial minimum wage changes took effect in 2022.
Implications of minimum wage increases for employers
While these minimum wage increases undoubtedly benefit workers, they also have implications for employers and businesses.
1. Legal compliance
Employers are legally obligated to pay their employees at least the minimum wage set by the respective region.
2. Fair compensation
Being aware of minimum wage hikes enables employers to offer equitable and competitive compensation to their workforce. This ensures that workers receive a wage that aligns with the cost of living in their area, contributing to their overall well-being.
3. Employee morale and productivity
Paying employees a fair wage can boost morale and motivation. Employees who feel adequately compensated will likely be more engaged, satisfied, and productive in their roles. This, in turn, benefits the employer through improved work quality and employee retention.
4. Talent attraction and retention
relative to regional standards makes the company more appealing to prospective employees and reduces the risk of losing valuable staff to competitors.
5. Budget planning
Employers can budget more effectively when they are aware of minimum wage changes. It allows them to anticipate and account for increased labor costs in their financial planning, reducing the risk of budgetary constraints and financial surprises.
6. Legal protection
Staying informed about regional wage changes provides legal protection for employers. It ensures that the company is prepared to defend itself against potential legal disputes related to wage issues, as it can demonstrate compliance with applicable labor laws.
Salary Increases in the Provinces
Based on the JobStreet Salary Guide 2023, Western Visayas and Central Visayas had the highest salary increases in the provinces in 2023, with 133.3% and 140%, respectively. This is likely due to several factors, including increased demand for skilled workers and rising inflation. Economic growth also comes into play. According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Western Visayas posted the highest economic growth among all regions in 2022. Meanwhile, the economy of Central Visayas grew 7.6% in 2022, producing ₱1.29 trillion worth of goods and services.
Salary increase for rank-and-file healthcare workers in Western Visayas
Rank-and-file workers in the healthcare industry include nurses, medical technicians, therapists, and other clinical and support staff. In Western Visayas, the demand for healthcare services is exceptionally high due to the region's growing population and economy. The area also has many large hospitals and clinics, contributing to the high demand for healthcare workers.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is positioning Western Visayas to lead as the Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS) capital of the world in 2028. With its abundance of HEIs offering medical and health-related courses, Western Visayas is a breeding ground for exceptional HIMS talent.
Employers in the healthcare sector should be prepared to offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain the best talent. They should also invest in employee training and development programs, especially in HIMS.
Salary increase for consulting supervisors in Central Visayas
Central Visayas reported that supervisors from the consulting industry showed the highest median salary growth. The region is home to several large and growing businesses, as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations. This high demand for consulting services is driving up salaries for supervisors in the consulting industry.
Why Provincial Employers Should Invest in Their Workforce
It is time for provincial employers to make substantial investments in their workforce. The rise in the availability of skilled workers in the provinces is a unique opportunity for businesses in the region to grow and thrive.
Here are some of the benefits of investing in the provincial workforce:
1. Access to a larger talent pool
Provincial employers will have access to a larger pool of skilled workers if they invest in their workforce. This is important because it will give them more flexibility in hiring and staffing their businesses.
2. Reduced costs
Investing in the provincial workforce can reduce costs for businesses in the region. This is because the cost of living in the provinces is typically lower than in major cities.
3. Increased productivity
Investing in the provincial workforce can increase productivity for businesses in the region. This is because skilled workers are more likely to be productive and engaged.
4. Improved morale
Investing in the provincial workforce can improve the morale of employees. This is because employees are more likely to be motivated and satisfied with their jobs if they feel valued and appreciated by their employers.
In addition to the above benefits, investing in the provincial workforce can also help to boost the local economy. When businesses invest in their employees, it leads to increased spending and job creation. This can have a positive impact on the entire community.
How Provincial Employers Can Invest in Their Workforce
Provincial employers face unique challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. You must invest in your workforce to compete with employers in major cities.
1. Provide competitive salaries and benefits
Offer salaries and benefits that are in line with those offered by employers in major cities. This includes offering health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. Competitive salaries and benefits are a must for attracting and retaining top talent.
2. Offer training and development opportunities
Invest in your employees’ training and development to boost their skills, knowledge, and engagement. Training and development opportunities also help attract and retain top talent, as employees are likelier to stay with a company that invests in their professional growth.
3. Foster a positive and supportive work environment
Create a positive and supportive work environment where employees feel valued and respected. This will boost morale and productivity.
By investing in your workforce, you can position your company for success.