Wage is a very hot button topic because of the on-going debate on whether or not the minimum wage should be raised in the United States. And when people hear how I built my business by paying my Filipino workers less than minimum wage, they paint me as some sort of monster.

NYC Rally to raise the minimum wage. Image courtesy of Flickr member The All-Nite Images

How could I stomach paying these people slave wages, after all they’ve done for me? After all the money they made for me? And why oh why do I take advantage of people so desperate for work that I pay them a lot less of what they’re worth?

Let me make it clear that once and for all that I am not paying minimum wage. In fact, I pay a lot more than minimum wage and I give my workers raises on a regular basis. You can barely survive on $300/month in the US. But in the Philippines, you can buy a lot with a starting salary of $300.

The standard of living here is completely different from the standard living in the Philippines. Everything there is cheaper and it’s easier for them to get more for less. For example, the starting salary of a public school teacher, call center agent, and most office workers in the Philippines is P12,000 which is roughly equivalent to $300. So for an entry level position, $300 is more than fair; in fact, it’s expected.

Minimum Wage In The Philippines

Unlike the US, the Philippines has to raise their minimum wage every few years. They also have different wage rates depending on what industry they work in and where they work. If you hire a Filipino worker from Manila where the standard of living is much higher, then you’re expected to give a higher wage. If you hire someone from the provinces, the minimum wage there is lower.

Another thing I want to point out is I don’t keep my guys on “minimum” wage for long. In fact, we encourage our clients to raise salaries as soon as the worker has proven their work, as soon as they can afford to. We encourage employers to give 13th month bonuses, performance bonuses, gifts, paid leaves, etc. The only thing we don’t encourage is pre-paid work and I explained that in detail here.

If you just look at the numbers, you would think outsourcing is cruel to Filipinos. But when you dig deeper and look at the context, you’ll see how much outsourcing has improved the lives of a lot of people. Outsourcing to the Philippines to help make your business grow may look selfish at first, but when you look at how many people you can hire and help, how can you not give it a try?

If you want to learn more on how to outsource to the Philippines ethically, we have resources to help you with that at Onlinejobs.ph. Visit us today and start outsourcing your business to efficient, trustworthy and hard working Filipino workers.