P100 wage hike bill gets past Senate 2nd reading

P100 wage hike bill gets past Senate 2nd reading

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:30 AM February 15, 2024

Juan Miguel Zubiri

Juan Miguel Zubiri —Senate PRIB

The Senate on Wednesday approved on second reading a landmark measure mandating an across-the-board increase of P100 in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector.

“This is our Valentine’s Day gift to all our workers,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said, as senators unanimously approved Senate Bill No. 2534 under Committee Report No. 190 during a plenary session.


“This is for them. I think it will be perfect timing because today is the day of hearts. It’s the day of love and sharing,” he added.


The Senate chief noted that if this measure becomes law, this could be the first time that a legislated pay hike would be implemented nationwide since the enactment in 1989 of Republic Act No. 6727, or the Wage Rationalization Act that effectively declared that salaries would be set on a regional basis by wage boards.

“I think this is the farthest this measure has ever been since a similar bill was passed many years ago,” Zubiri said.

He said he expected the measure to hurdle a third and final reading next week and appealed to members of the House of Representatives to do their part and pass their counterpart of the P100 wage hike measure.

“We feel that it’s time to help increase the minimum wage of our workers, particularly those in Visayas and Mindanao, who are currently earning P360 a day,” the Senate President said.

“How can you live with P360 a day? It’s impossible. Once this bill is passed and becomes a law, this will provide a great relief to our poor and hardworking employees,” he noted.

Zubiri also expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in the Senate for supporting the measure aimed at uplifting the living conditions of Filipino families.


“I thank our colleagues here in the Senate for their unanimous support for our proposed bill to increase the daily minimum wage of our workers…. the Senate is united for the sake of the Filipino workers. We hear the call of the nation for a decent wage. And we do not just listen, we take action,” he added.

Eroded by inflation

The proposed measure was sponsored by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, chair of the committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

According to Estrada, more than 4.2 million minimum wage earners in private companies nationwide would benefit should the Senate pass the bill.

READ: P100 daily wage hike bill reaches Senate floor

Under the proposal, all employees in the private sector, both agricultural and nonagricultural, would be entitled to a P100 minimum wage increase.

From the original proposal of P150, Estrada said his committee recommended a P100 daily pay hike as almost all regional wage boards had ordered an increase ranging from P30 to P90 last year.

Among the areas covered by the regional wage increases implemented in 2023 were Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Soccsksargen (the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the city of General Santos) and Central Visayas.

“While we recognize the wage hikes implemented recently by the regional wage boards, it appears that these have already been rendered useless because of the incessant increase in the prices of basic commodities,” Estrada said earlier.

“That’s why we proposed an increase in the salary of our workers to a more decent level. I believe this is timely as there is an urgent need to at least match it [with] the continuous rise in prices of goods,” he pointed out.

According to him, the prevailing minimum wage was still far from meeting the basic needs of workers’ families at an estimated P8,379 a month.

While the minimum wage in Metro Manila for the nonagricultural sector consistently recorded the highest basic pay in the country at P610 a day, the actual daily pay is eroded by inflation, the lawmaker said.

Stimulate economic activity

The real value of the minimum wage—which reflects the inflation-adjusted rates using the consumer price index—has fallen to P514.50 in the capital as of July 2023 and further decreased to P504 in October 2023, and this scenario was replicated across all regions, Estrada added.

“After consideration of the existing socioeconomic conditions and positions of various sectors, it is incumbent upon us to propose a daily pay hike to help alleviate the burden of Filipinos in the face of soaring prices of basic commodities and rising cost of living. We cannot turn a blind eye on the injustice to and the economic conditions of our workers, who are considered the lifeblood of the economy,” he said.

This statutory increase, if passed into law, would also result in increased purchasing power and would stimulate economic activity, thereby contributing to national growth, Estrada said.

According to him, the wage hike bill would also help reduce poverty incidence rate in the coming years.

He added that under the Philippine Development Plan, the government was targeting to reduce the poverty incidence rate to 13.2 percent by 2025, and to 9 percent by 2028.

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SB 2534 was prepared by the committee on labor, employment and human resources development and sponsored by the panel’s chair, Senator Estrada, and cosponsored by Zubiri and Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay and Bong Go.

TAGS: salary, Senate, Wage, workers

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