Senators resume calls for legislated wage hike on Labor Day
MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Labor Day reaffirmed their promises to push for legislations that will “protect and advance” the interests of all Filipino workers.
“Hindi man naihabol ngayong taon kasabay ng pagdiriwang ng Labor Day ang panawagang legislated wage increase, makakaasa ang publiko na gugulong na sa Senado ang mga inihaing panukalang batas,” Senate committee on labor chairperson Jinggoy Estrada said in a statement.
(Although the call for a legislated wage increase was not approved in time for this year’s Labor Day celebration, the public can expect the proposed bills to start rolling in the Senate.)
On May 10, the committee will start the deliberations on various measures seeking to raise workers’ pay and benefits.
“We will not be remiss in our sworn duties in putting forth what needs to be done to uplift the lives of our kababayans who have suffered because of economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Estrada added.
One of the bills pending in the Senate was filed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, which would increase by P150 the daily wage of workers in the private sector across the region.
“This Labor Day, I join all our workers in fighting for decent benefits, living wages, and fair working conditions,” he said in a separate statement.
“This is especially crucial as rising costs of goods and utilities continue to hit our people’s pockets, to the point that even toiling with a full-time job is no longer enough to support their families’ needs,” the Senate leader noted.
Meanwhile, Senator Raffy Tulfo, vice chairman of the labor panel, lamented that many workers are struggling because their wages are insufficient to meet their daily needs.
“Hindi nasusuklian ng tama ang pawis at sakripisyo nila sapagkat ang kasalukuyang nakasaad na minimum wage ay halos wala ng saysay dahil sa sobrang mahal na ng mga bilihin at hindi na kayang bumuhay ng maayos ng isang pamilya,” said Tulfo, who filed a resolution seeking a review of the existing policies on the minimum wage hikes.
(Their hard work and sacrifices are not adequately compensated because the current minimum wage almost has no value due to the high cost of goods and services, and it can no longer provide a decent living for a family.)
Tulfo added in the National Capital Region that the current P570/day minimum wage “is not even half of the ideal rate.”