Wage hike is best gift to workers on Labor Day — Jinggoy
MANILA, Philippines — With the soaring prices of fuel, food and consumer goods, former senator and UniTeam senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday called on the country’s regional wage boards to approve wage hike petitions in time for Labor Day.
“It’s been more than a month since I joined the workers’ clamor for a wage increase. What’s taking the wage boards so long to approve it?” Estrada asked.
The former senator said the unabated increase in fuel prices is putting a lot of strain on the already tight budget of Filipino households.
“To honor Filipino workers this Labor Day, I think a wage hike is well-deserved and well-timed. It’s the best gift we can give our workers and their families,” Estrada stressed.
“Even before the pandemic, the average minimum wage of workers is already insufficient to make ends meet. With the spike in global crude oil and food prices due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the low take home pay of workers has been a critical problem,” he noted.
If granted a fresh Senate term, Estrada said he will 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.
As former chairman of the Senate labor committee, 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.
“Government must ensure that Filipinos earn enough to have a decent life and prevent their mass migration in search of better pay,” Estrada said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.