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Philippines among countries with lowest average wage

The average wage in the Philippines is among the lowest in the world as of August 2020, data compiled by e-commerce platform Picodi revealed.

Citing data from crowd-sourced global database Numbeo, Picodi said the Philippines ranks 95th out of 106 countries in terms of average wage, recorded at $308 or P15,200.

The list was topped by Switzerland with P296,200 ($5,989); followed by Luxembourg with P198,500 ($4,014); the United States with P174,800 ($3,534); Denmark with P173,900 ($3,515); and Singapore with P168,900 ($3,414).

The Philippines outranked counties such as Indonesia and Bangladesh with P15,100 ($306); Tunisia and Nicaragua with P14,700 ($308); Georgia with P14,100 ($284); and Algeria with P13,200 ($266).

The countries with the lowest average wage on the list were Pakistan with P10,300 ($209); Nepal with P9,500 ($192); Nigeria with P9,100 ($184); Uganda with P8,500 ($171); and Cuba with P1,800 ($36).

According to Picodi, the conversion to local currencies was based on the average Google Finance rate for August 2020.

At present, the minimum wage in Metro Manila is at P537 daily, or P10,740 per month with a five-day workweek.

The minimum wage varies from region to region, but is generally lower for other regions across the country.

Workers have long lamented the minimum wage, which they said is not enough to keep a family afloat.

Several groups have already appealed for the government to increase the minimum wage, which was last adjusted in 2018 when a P25 hike was approved.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2018 said that a typical Filipino family needs a monthly income of P42,000 to live "decently."

Inflation averaged 5.2% in 2018, and 2.5% in 2019. In the first seven months of 2020, inflation has so far averaged 2.5%.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in June reported an unemployment rate of 17.7% in April, reflecting an increase of 5 million jobless Filipinos to 7.3 million.

Bello countered the PSA's numbers, claiming there were only 69,000 unemployed Filipinos during the period.

Bello's claims were refuted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, which noted that its members alone reported a total of 3.5 million unemployed Filipinos.

For its part, the Social Security System (SSS) said members who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will receive up to P20,000 cash benefits, depending on their monthly salary credit.

The Department of Finance (DOF) also earlier said that the SSS is "fully prepared" to provide assistance to jobless Filipinos. — BM, GMA News