A recent study conducted by the world bank revealed that over the past three years, Filipino workers’ output per hour is growing steadily, but average wage mostly remained stagnant. Although this trend is already seen in most developed countries, the problem in the Philippines is a little special.
Simple intuition suggest that if output per hour – or productivity – increases, wage should also increase. But since the dawn of the information age, everything is so efficient to the point that one man can do the job that 15 people used to do. Productivity steadily increased, exponentially. This made businessmen shift investment away from the people and towards technology.
Now, the problem is, the skill that is needed to master such technology is minimal. It’s almost a basic requirement in the job market to be knowledgeable with technology. This led to the oversupply of skilled workers. Recall high school economics: The larger the supply, hold demand constant, and the price goes down. If we assume that the demand for skilled workers remained the same, this means that wages for skilled workers is going to go down. But again, technology decreased the demand for skilled workers. Now it’s clear where the stagnation came from.
See, “average” is not really a good statistic to look at especially when it comes to skewed distributions, like wage or income. It fails to capture the information about how the income are distributed in the workforce. When inequality is high, the average moves farther away from the median, and thus we see stagnation even though the increase is actually there. But where is it?
Of course, to the corporations themselves. Top corporations in the Philippines are outpacing even the national average growth rate according to *insert source here*. These corporations -mostly chinese owned like SM and JFC- invested in technology to eliminate most of their need for human resources. Add to the mix the fact that their contractualization scheme isn’t making things better for filipino workers.
The Duterte administration certainly didn’t make things better either by cutting ties with the EU, leading to less investments from their more strategic and job creating companies, and overemphasis on chinese investments that doesn’t even create jobs for the filipino people. Take the Kaliwa Dam creation for example, albeit technically it’s not really a chinese investment.
Filipinos are becoming slaves in their own country. And in the looming danger of a global economic crisis brought by the shifting away from oil, if this wage problem isn’t solved soon, we might as well be cadavers in our own country. (i know i suck at making conclusions and this is a first draft)