November 26, 2021

POPCOM cites the need for a regional wage increase and a policy review in its report.

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) stated on Wednesday that regional wage policies should be reviewed in order to help Filipinos earn “living wages” rather than minimum wages.

According to POPCOM Chief Juan Antonio Perez III, progressive regions offer higher salaries and more job opportunities than most other regions, where jobs are scarce and wages are low.

“This is why workers flock to Calabarzon, the National Capital Region (NCR), and Central Luzon. As a result, we urge our regional wage boards to investigate and assist in improving this situation, which will have a positive impact on the well-being of our families,” he added.

According to Perez, this will provide genuine development for Filipino families while also contributing to the country’s overall economic development.

“Now is the time to talk about more than just family planning; there are other goals that can help Filipinos, one of which is a ‘living wage.'” “This is our message for POPDEV Week this year,” he said.

According to a study conducted by POPCOM, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), as regional minimum wages rise, the support ratio (SR) for Filipino families improves, allowing two workers per family to provide for two children while also saving some money.

Outside of the NCR and Calabarzon, according to POPCOM, the situation is getting worse.

Meanwhile, citing Perez, Assistant Professor Michael Dominic del Mundo of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) stated that there is a “significant positive correlation” between a region’s minimum wage and its SR, and that as the minimum wage rises, so does the SR, and vice versa.

Demographic advantage

According to a study commissioned by POPCOM, the incomes required for families to survive and thrive vary by region.

The Philippines will need at least 1 million more women to join the country’s family planning program in order to achieve its demographic dividend by 2025, according to the agency. Calabarzon and the National Capital Region have already met the target of 2.1 fertility or lower, according to the report (NCR).

The report did show, however, that most regions still have nearly three-child families, with the Bangsamoro Region having four.
To support four-child families in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), couples must work four jobs at current wage rates.

Families with three children in other regions, such as the Zamboanga Peninsula, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Mimaropa, Soccsksargen, and Davao, require three jobs to make ends meet, given their respective minimum wages.

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