De Guzman says to increase daily minimum wage nationwide to P750
MANILA, Philippines — Labor leader Leody De Guzman, who is running for president in the May polls, said Thursday that he will push to increase the daily minimum wage nationwide to P750.
De Guzman said he will first increase the daily minimum wage in the provinces and set it at par with Metro Manila. Currently, the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila is from P500 to P537.
After this, he said he will increase the daily minimum wage to P750 nationwide.
“Mas immediate ay ‘yung plano ko na itaas ang sahod ng mga manggagawa sa probinsya kapantay ng sa Metro Manila. Then, later, itaas natin ng P750 across the board, nationwide,” De Guzman said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
(My immediate plan is to increase the salary of workers in the provinces and have it at par with Metro Manila. Then later, we will increase this to P750 across the board nationwide.)
“Para sa ganun makaangat-angat naman ‘yung buhay ng ating mga manggagawa,” he added.
(In that way, our workers’ lives can improve even a bit.)
De Guzman also said increasing the daily minimum wage nationwide to P750 is still not enough.
On contractualization and importation
While the labor leader acknowledged that there are some sectors where a contractual setup can be done, this should not be the general policy of the government.
“Hindi dapat ‘yan na ang maging general policy ng ating gobyerno ay contractualization na halos 80 to 85 percent ng ating mga mangaggawa ay contractual,” De Guzman said.
(Contractualization should not be the general policy of the government to the point that almost 80 to 85 percent of our workers are contractual.)
“Dapat ang policy ng gobyerno ay regularization tulad noong mga nakaraan after Second World War hanggang dito sa kalahati ng taon ni [former president Ferdinand] Marcos… na dapat ay ipatupad ulit yun nang sa ganun, mabigyan natin ng dignidad ‘yung ating mga manggagawa,” he added.
(The policy should be regularization similar to the post-Second World War times up to the half of the term of President Marcos. We should implement that so that we can give dignity to our workers.)
De Guzman likewise said that the government should not be importation-dependent with its policies. He said that if elected, he will focus on improving the agriculture sector.
Focusing on the agriculture sector will lead to improved food security and food sovereignty, he noted.
“Bakit tayo nagi-import ng galunggong? Ganun din sa agriculture, napaka-fertile ng lupa natin bakit tayo nagi-import ng sili, ng mani, eh kaya naman natin i-produce ‘yun?” De Guzman said.
(Why are we importing fish? Even in agriculture, we have fertile lands but why are we importing chilis and peanuts when we can produce them?)
“Dapat ay itigil na ‘yung policy na pagiging import-dependent at export-oriented ng ating ekonomiya dahil talo tayo dyan e. Mage-export tayo, mura ang ating kikitain tapos magi-import tayo, mahal,” he added.
(We should stop our policy of being import-dependent and export-oriented because we are at a loss. We export and earn low, then we import at a higher price.)
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