Minimum Wage in the PHilippines

One of our young Filipino friends came over for dinner a couple nights ago.  He told us the minimum wage here is just 320 pesos a day- 6.40 cents, roughly (a few cents less).  I asked if people were really able to live on that, and he said yes, and if they can get a job paying that much they are so thankful.  He gets about ten dollars a day working a white collar job, and he lives in a small apartment with no refrigerator or air conditioner, and he takes public transportation to work.

He also says that minimum wage is supposed to be payment for about 8 hours of work, but that there are many jobs where the owner requires ten hours of work for the same pay, and just tells the employees if they don’t like it they can quite and find another job.  Jobs are apparently hard enough to find that people will go ahead and put in the ten hours.

This explained a lot.  My Mon. Wed. helper does *so* much for us, including doing grocery shopping at the open air market for me before she comes, and lately watching the Cherub while I have doctor appointments or an occasional tutoring session where I can’t bring her along, and she irons and cooks dinner, too, and sometimes comes by the house to check on the dog if we are away over night-  so I raised her wages to 500 pesos because I appreciate her so much.   So she started ironing my t-shirts and the Cherub’s nightgown, and she stays an extra two hours, which was not my intent.  If we were going to be here long term, 500 pesos would probably not have been the wisest choice given the economy, but since we’re leaving and she will have to find other employment for probably less wages after we go, I hope this is kind of a cushion for her when we do return to the U.S.

She combines her grocery trips for me with grocery runs for her neighbors, too- they pay her a little bit extra to pick up items for them while she is there.  She also takes home some of our containers- crackers come in a plastic tub with a lid and she brings those home and uses them to make home-made ice cream to sell.  She lives at her church building and does some caretaking there in exchange for the rent.


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  1. Frances
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    320 pesos a day- 6.40 cents – should that be 64 cents?

    • Headmistress
      Posted May 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      No, sorry. I’ll fix it. It’s not that bad- it’s a whopping $6.40 a day (really, slightly less, the dollar has grown a bit, but doubling is an easy conversion)

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