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May 19, 2008

Govt approves 5.5% wage rise in Manila

The Philippine wage board for the Manila area formally approved on Friday a 20 pesos (47 cents), or 5.5 percent, increase in the minimum take home pay of workers, reported Reuters.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had announced the 20 pesos wage rise on Thursday and the central bank has said the size of the increase was within its inflation assumptions.

Ciriaco Lagunzad, executive director of the National Wages and Productivity Commission, said the increase in the Manila minimum wage, seen as a benchmark for the country, would comprise a 15 pesos increase in wages plus a 5 peso cost of living allowance.

Lagunzad said the wage increase will take effect 15 days after the wage order is published, while the cost of living allowance will be added to workers' salaries on August 28, 2008.

A cost of living allowance is less costly than a wage hike for employers since it does not affect calculations for annual bonuses or retirement and other benefits.

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