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World bank, 2021
Poverty headcount ratio at $3.65 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Varies by province.
WageIndicator Foundation, 2023

National minimum wage

Equivalent to 16,944 Philippines peso per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living wage

Equivalent to 25,165 Philippines peso per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living income
World bank, 2021
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2022
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
No guarantee of rights

very high
Risk to workers' rights


The Philippines has a population of 111,560 million people[1]. The country population is well divided between rural and urban population, represented by 52%[2]and 48%[3] respectively. Agriculture employs 24% of the country’s population[4], and the sector represents 9.5% of the national GDP[5].

More than half of the Philippines’ live in rural areas, and 36% per cent of them are poor, dependent on agriculture as their primary and often only source of income. Most of the rural poor depend on subsistence farming and fishing for their livelihoods. Although the causes of poverty in rural areas vary widely from island to island, common drivers include a decline in agricultural productivity, unprofitable smallholder farming operations and unsustainable practices, which have led to deforestation and depleted fish stocks.[6]

The top produced commodities in The Philippines are sugar cane, rice, coconut, maize and bananas.[7] In terms of top exported commodities, bananas lead the list, followed by coconut oil, pineapples and its byproducts, cake of copra and rubber[8].


Minimum wage

The Minimum Wage varies by province in the Philippines.[1] In the region of Ilocos Sur Province, where a Living Wage was estimated based on the Anker Methodology, the minimum wage for agricultural workers starts at 282 (4,75 EUR) and goes to 325 (5,48 EUR) Philippine pesos per day. This is the equivalent of 1221 (21 EUR) and 1407 (23 EUR) Philippine pesos per month, depending if workers are involved in the plantation or not.

The Philippines rank among the 10 worst countries for workers[2]. Violations of minimum wage standards are the most common. Nearly 40% of the country’s workforce is in the informal sector, being covered by labour law but not receiving social benefits similar to workers in the formal economy. Lack of enforcement of prohibitions on forced or compulsory labour also affect workers. Despite governmental awareness-raising activities and orientation programs by the Department of Labor, reports of forced labour using both adults and children continues, mainly in fishing and other maritime industries and agriculture, but also small-scale factories, gold mines, domestic service and other areas of the informal sector. Abuses registered by NGO include debt bondage in sugar cane plantations, and pointed to incomplete statistics on work-related accidents and illnesses, as incidents were underreported, especially in agriculture.[3]


  1. ^ WageIndicator Foundation (2023). Minimum Wage-The Philippines.
  2. ^ ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023: No guarantee of rights. 
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State. 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: The Philippines. 

Living wage

The Global Living Wage Coalition developed a Living Wage Benchmark for the province of Ilocos Sur, one of the main tobacco-growing areas in the Philippines. A living wage in the region was estimated at 16,944 Philippine pesos (285 EUR) per month, a number based on a family of 4.5 with 1.61 workers. Due to its long history of tobacco cultivation, the Philippines is among the world's top 20 tobacco-producing countries. While tobacco and its derivative products are viewed negatively from a health policy standpoint, it is noteworthy that many farmers' livelihoods depend on tobacco cultivation. Even local government units are incentivised to increase tobacco output to benefit from the higher tobacco excise tax collection[1].

  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2023). Anker Living Wage reference value: Rural Ilocos Sur Province, Philippines.

Living income

The Living Wage Benchmark included a Living Income report, estimating the living income in the province Ilocos Sur, the Philippines. A living income was estimated at 25,165 Philippine pesos (424 EUR) per month. This is the net income a typical family in rural Ilocos Sur Province needs monthly to live a decent life.[1]

  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2022). Living Income Report: Rural Ilocos Sur Province, Philippines 2022.

What's happening


The bitter reality behind working in the Philippine pineapple industry

This report by Fairfood looks at how workers in the pineapple industry in the Philippines typically do not make a living wage and how companies can be leaders in setting a path to living wages.


Banana Link: Work in the Philippines

Philippines has been in the top five banana exporters in the world, and the top ten in production, exporting around 3.5 million tonnes of bananas annually. Learn about the work of Banana Link in the country. 


Living Wage Benchmark Value, Ilocos Sur Province, The Philippines

Living wage and income estimate for a typical family in rural province of Ilocos Sur to cover the monthly cost of a basic but decent standard of living.

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