Zubiri warns of exodus of Filipino workers

Senate President Miguel Zubiri expresses suspicion that the delayed approval of IRR for three vital laws aimed at bringing in more foreign investments was due to moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri Senate PRIB file photo / Joseph Vidal

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday warned about the possible exodus of more Filipinos to seek greener pastures abroad should Congress decide not to pass a legislated wage increase for workers in the private sector.

“We have two choices: Raise the salaries of our workers or watch them leave the country to seek better-paying jobs in other countries,” Zubiri said in a statement.

He pointed out that the minimum daily wage of workers in the National Capital Region were almost the same as the basic hourly pay of employees in the United States.

“They will really leave the country if they do not receive a living wage,” the Senate leader said.

“We cannot afford to treat our workers badly. Without them, our industries will shut down and our economy will plummet. So they really deserve to make a living wage,” he said.

READ: Zubiri seeks P150 daily pay hike for private sector workers

Zubiri also thanked the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s biggest alliance of labor unions, for supporting the measure he filed pushing for a P150 across-the-board increase in the daily rate of workers of private companies.

The leaders of Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa (Kapatiran), for their part, have urged the Metro Manila regional wage board to act on the group’s petition for a P100 increase in the minimum wage for workers in the region.

The labor group filed the petition for a wage hike in the Metro Manila Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in December last year. The Makabayan bloc filed House Bill No. 7568 on Monday “to close the gap between the current minimum wage and the calculated family living wage across regions.”

A day later, Zubiri filed a similar measure, this time seeking an across-the-board legislated wage increase of P150 in the daily pay of workers in the private companies “to ease the effect of wage erosion brought about by inflation.”


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