Bayan Muna demands law setting minimum wage, scrapping of train provisions
The militant party-list group Bayan Muna on Thursday called on the government to agree on a legislated wage increase and scrap the “antipeople” provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act to bring comfort to Filipino workers and their families who are suffering from high prices of goods.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Bayan Muna chair Neri Javier Colmenares, in a joint statement, agreed with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who said that the approved minimum wage increases throughout the country were short of at least P100 for workers to be able to cope with the rising cost of basic commodities.
“The P25 wage increase [in Metro Manila] that was granted by the government recently was very small and it will not catch up with the rising prices of commodities due to TRAIN,” Colmenares said.
“It would be best if there is a national minimum wage for all workers in the country because all prices of goods and services across the nation are rising,” Colmenares said.
Zarate said Bello’s assessment of the “miniscule” wage increase should push the Duterte administration to classify as urgent proposed measures like House Bill No. 7787 or the P750 national minimum wage bill and HB No. 7653 or the repeal of the antipeople provisions of the TRAIN law like increase taxes on fuel.
“Some businessmen are saying that they can afford more than P200 wage hike for their workers,” Zarate said.
“As can be seen, the Duterte administration should give a higher wage increase on top of the insulting and measly P25 wage hike they implemented,” he added.
“It is high time that workers are prioritized by the administration and given their due,” Zarate said.
He said he had instructed the National Wages and Productivity Commission to expedite its review this year of the wage structure.
The wage board in Metro Manila granted a P25 hike raising the daily minimum wage to P536, the highest in the country. In other regions, the increases ranged from P9 to P56.
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