Lawmakers hail workers on Labor Day; wage hike, other benefits pushed | Inquirer News
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Lawmakers hail workers on Labor Day; wage hike, other benefits pushed

/ 11:04 AM May 01, 2022
LOW PAY, HIGH PRICES Workers are demanding higher pay to be able to cope with the higher prices of basic commodities. —FILE PHOTO

(FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Several lawmakers pushed for a wage increase and other benefits for workers as the nation commemorated Labor Day on Sunday.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said a review of petitions seeking to raise regional minimum wage rates should be expedited.

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“What’s taking so long? Ano mang delay sa paglalabas ng desisyon ukol sa minimum wage ay pwedeng magdulot ng kagutuman o kawalan ng pag-asa sa mga manggagawa na makaahon pa sila sa patong-patong na bayarin,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

(Any delay in releasing the decision on minimum wage may cause hunger or lack of hope for workers that they can recover from mounting expenses.)

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“Tatlong taon nang walang adjustment sa regional minimum wages. Tumaas na ang gastos sa kuryente, pamasahe, pagkain at kinailangan pang gastusan ang internet. Oras na para tingnan at pag-aralan dahil hindi na sasapat ito sa gastusin ng mga pamilyang Pilipino,” she added.

(It has already been three years without adjustment in regional minimum wages. The charges for electricity, fare, food, and internet have increased. It is time to look and study because this will not be enough for the expenses of a Filipino family.)

Former senator and incumbent Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, meanwhile, recognized the role of workers in the revival of the country’s economy, and vowed to pass a measure that seeks an increased minimum wage amid rising costs, should he succeed in his Senate comeback bid.

“Kaya naman kapag ako ay muling mailuklok sa Senado, buo ang aking loob at determinado na magpasa ng batas na magsusulong ng legislated minimum wage para sa dagdag-sahod ng lahat ng manggagawa. Panahon na para bawiin sa wage board ang kapangyarihang magtakda ng sahod at ibalik ito sa poder ng Kongreso,” he said in a separate statement.

(If I am reelected in the Senate, I am determined to pass a law that will push for the legislation of minimum wage for the additional income of all workers. It is time to recall the power of the wage board to dictate the salary and return it to Congress.)

Senator Leila de Lima also pledged to continue fighting for the rights of workers.

“Saludo po ako sa inyong sipag at tatag. Asahan nyo pong kasama ninyo ako sa pagsusulong ng inyong karapatan at kapakanan: Seguridad sa trabaho, sapat na sahod at benepisyo, at ligtas na kondisyon ng paggawa,” she said in a statement.

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(I salute your hard work and resilience. Expect that I will be with you in pushing for your rights and welfare: job security, sufficient income and benefits, and safe working conditions.)

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco likewise acknowledged efforts of workers, especially low-wage earners and essential workers.

“On this Labor Day, we honor and salute all Filipino workers who work tirelessly so they could put food on the table and improve their quality of life for themselves and their families,” he said in a statement.

Bayan Muna Representative Ferdinand Gaite lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the plight of workers worsened under his term.

“Sa araw na ito, bilang paniningil sa inutil na administrasyon, daang libong manggawa sa pribado at pampublikong sektor ay muling lalahok sa kilos protesta sa buong bansa,” he said.

(Today, as a charge to the administration, thousands of workers in the private and public sector will join in protests across the country.)

“Ipinapakita ng ating manggagawa, na ang mga manggagawa ay malaking pwersa na dapat pangunahing pinaguukulan ng prayoridad kung nais umunlad ng ating bayan. At hindi lang sa panahon ng eleksyon,” Gaite said, urging the public to choose for leaders who will serve the the marginalized sector — Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

(Our workers show that they are a big force that should be prioritized to improve the country. And not only during elections.)

In observance of Labor Day, the Department of Labor and Employment held a job fair with over 137,000 domestic and overseas job openings.

Based on the latest Social Weather Stations’ survey, the country’s unemployment rate slightly dropped to 24.7 percent.

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TAGS: Jobs, Labor Day, lawmakers, workers
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