Up to 140,000 workers may be displaced due to the P35 wage increase in the National Capital Region, but new jobs are expected to be created with the growth of the economy, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

At a press briefing at Malacañang yesterday, Balisacan said the pay hike for minimum wage earners in the private sector could worsen the unemployment rate.

'It could increase the unemployment rate, but again, it's a very negligible number and it could impact something like 40,000 to 140,000 workers,' he said.

Balisacan, who heads the National Economic and Development Authority, said the number of workers who may be affected by the wage increase is not as big as one would expect if the rate adjustment had been much higher.

'For so long as the economies are expanding because of other things, like investments are coming in, then the offsets would be there...the economy can still grow,' he said.

Balisacan noted that the wage adjustment is 'quite reasonable' and 'good enough' to ensure that the purchasing power of the workers is protected.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board has approved an increase of P35 in Metro Manila, bringing the minimum wage to P645 for non-agriculture workers.

Workers who may be laid off because of the wage adjustment are likely to find new jobs, according to Balisacan.

'The economy is growing and the labor market is quite robust. So if you lose one job there, there are other jobs being opened up,' he said when asked if 40,000 to 140,000 workers could lose their jobs.

Balisacan said there are more than 600,000 new jobs that opened this year.

'As our economy continues to grow at six to seven percent this year, that will be accompanied by quite a lot of jobs,' the NEDA chief said.

Based on the preliminary results of the Labor Force Survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Monday, the jobless rate slightly increased to 4.1 percent in May from four percent in April.

In terms of magnitude, the number of unemployed Filipinos in May was estimated at 2.11 million, higher than the 2.04 million in the previous month, but lower than the 2.17 million recorded in May last year, the PSA said.


Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).