Wage and Subsistence in the Philippines


Human being has the god given right for self-preservation. Apart from these there arises the basic needs to exist on a daily basis. He has desires for improvement which eventually entails a better life for him and his family. To live in a decent and dignified way within the society is what every Filipino’s dream in this country.

Wage dictates the kind of existence you live. Likewise, the capitalists and the feudal state control the wage of the every worker. The greater household income a worker gets gives more comfort of life for the family. In a third world like the Philippines, wage is dependent with subsistence. They co-exist in a vicious cycle year in and out. But to trade wage for subsistence is not human. Thou servitude is a far outcry, slavery is not a far definition from this injustice. The cost of living in the Philippines as based on the present cost of living is practically the same elsewhere in the world. If there’s a gas consumption for heating in frigid countries, there’s also electricity expense needed in tropical countries for air conditioning. The value of real wage is the same in the Philippines as it is valued from elsewhere. It is merely the dollar value of peso that devaluates the cost of living in the Philippines. Let us compare the minimum wage in the Philippines against north America.

A factory worker earns:



Minimum Wage / Day


P 1,400 .00 (Can$56.0)

United States

P 1,440.00 (US$36.0)


P 225.00 (US$5.6)

* Salaries are computed on a gross 8 hours work.

We can see the tremendous disparity in salaries from the two North American countries. To earn this much in the Philippines, you have to be on top of the corporate ladder, which a common worker will never achieve in his lifetime. This however is due to the dollar value of our peso which has been devaluated and is being devaluated by every administration that rules the country.

In the Philippines our workers are merely earning enough for subsistence. Until we gain the same earning as the north Americans, our life will never change. We will always have to satisfy ourselves with what we have. That is poor shelter, poor education for our children, and under nourishment. Our economy will never flourish, technology will stagnate. For a flourishing economy is pre-requisite to technological growth.