President Corazon Aquino, facing threats of a national strike, rejected Monday a demand by labor unions for a 47 percent rise in minimum wages, saying it would undermine the economic recovery of the Philippines.

"Legislating a minimum wage that will drive up prices beyond our control and reduce prospects for employment will deprive most workers of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of growth and negate the gains we have achieved so far," Aquino said in a May Day speech to labor leaders.Aquino said that since 1987 the Philippines had seen a fall in unemployment and work days lost because of strikes, and a rise in investment.