Jinggoy Estrada supports TUCP minimum wage hike proposal for NCR workers
MANILA, Philippines — Former senator and Team Unity senatorial bet Jinggoy Estrada on Monday declared his support to the wage hike petition of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).
In a statement, Estrada said the wage increase is necessary since most Filipinos are suffering from the almost weekly hikes in oil prices that has led to the spike in the price of food and other basic necessities.
Earlier, Estrada called on the country’s regional wage boards to buckle down to work and immediately release their recommended wage hike as ordered by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
As former chairman of the Senate labor committee, Estrada said the National Capital Region-Regional Wages and Productivity Board must study and act with dispatch on TUCP’s proposal to add P470 to the daily wage of workers in Metro Manila.
“We badly need the collective experience and wisdom of the wage boards on how to strike a balance between the interests of workers and their employers who pay their salaries,” he explained.
Estrada said there’s no doubt that higher wages are needed to keep pace with the increasing cost of living, but it must be in an amount that employers can afford. “It requires a delicate balancing act. If wages are increased too high, we run the risk of companies laying-off workers or worse, closing shop,” he stressed.
Estrada said 99.5 percent of the registered businesses in the country are micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. As of November 2021, almost 10 percent of small businesses have remained closed. “We must also understand the situation of our businessmen. Many of them have closed shop and are unlikely to reopen due to lack of capital and massive losses during two years under the pandemic,” he said.
Estrada has long advocated for the improvement of the welfare of wage earners. He said the practice of setting minimum wages is absurd since it has consistently failed to keep up with inflation.
He said he plans to introduce reforms to the Wage Rationalization Act, which placed the responsibility of setting the minimum wage with the 17 regional wage boards. “The national government should have more flexibility in adjusting the basic pay of ordinary workers especially in times of crises or emergencies,” he said.
TUCP files petition to raise NCR’s minimum wage to P1,007
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