House vote on P125 daily wage hike seen in May
MANILA, Philippines—The House committee on labor is expected to approve an across-the-board daily wage hike of P125 for private workers and bring it to a plenary vote by May.
Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong, labor committee chair, said he was 100-percent optimistic House Bill No. 375, filed by Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano, would get a thumbs-up in the panel. “Our members have no problem with it, but it might have difficulties in the plenary,” he said.
“We wanted to have it approved before Labor Day, May 1, but we had problems in our schedules because there were other hearings, not to mention the impeachment [of Chief Justice Renato Corona],” said Ong.
Ong said the labor committee would hold its last regional hearing next month in northern Luzon before taking a vote on the bill.
Solution to demands
Ong said the committee conducted hearings on the legislated wage hike in different regions to get the public pulse on whether the regional wage boards were addressing their concerns or a legislated wage hike was the solution to their demands.
In hearings conducted in Mindanao, Ong said businessmen did not object to the legislated wage hike because increasing it by P125 a day would still keep them way below the salary rates in Metro Manila. “If we give the P125, Metro Manila’s wages will be at P500 plus while those outside Metro Manila will be at P300 plus. It’s about time we considered distributing the wealth considering that we have been receiving complaints that only the employers were getting rich,” said Ong.
Ong said the labor committee was also studying the possibility of mandating companies to share their profits with their employees. “Employers do not like this because it will force them to open their books since these will serve as the basis of how much they would have to share with their employees. But this is also good for the government because it will help it collect the real taxes dues,” said Ong.
Ong said that profit sharing schemes would be beneficial in the long run as employees would be more competitive knowing that their extra efforts would lead to higher profits for their company.