Senate OKs P100 wage hike bill on third reading

Senate OKs P100 wage hike bill on third reading

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:10 AM February 20, 2024

PHOTO: Composite image of hands holding 100-peso bills with Senate seal STORY: Senate OKs P100 wage hike bill on third reading


MANILA, Philippines — A bill mandating an increase of P100 in the daily minimum wage of private sector workers, estimated to number around 4.2 million nationwide, was approved by the Senate on the third and final reading on Monday.

Senate Bill No. 2534 under Committee Report No. 190 garnered 20 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and zero abstention.


Sens. Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar, and Mark Villar were not in the session hall during the voting.


“Let it be said that this august chamber is responsive to the needs of our kababayan, especially on the back of rising cost of living and soaring prices of basic commodities,” said Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor. Under the bill, all of the country’s minimum wage earners in the private sector, whether agricultural or nonagricultural, are entitled to the increase.

Bad for inflation

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier noted that if the 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, effectively declared that salaries would be set on a regional basis by wage boards.

Those opposed to the bill, including the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), earlier warned that the proposed P100 increase would only worsen the country’s inflation.

But according to senators, including Estrada, a flourishing economy relies on the vitality of its workforce, who are considered the lifeblood of enterprises

“We should prioritize the welfare and interest of the workers,” he said.

READ: Senate approves P100 daily wage hike bill


“Let us not underestimate the ripple effect of the Senate’s collective action. A higher minimum wage does not only impact the lives of those directly affected but reverberates throughout our communities, stimulating local economies, and ensuring that people would have more money in their pockets to meet their basic needs,” he added.

Still far from ‘living wage’

From the original proposal of P150, Estrada said his committee recommended a P100 daily pay hike as almost all regional wage boards 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.

“I am happy that the P100 wage increase for our workers has been approved easily and fast. This is a big help for our workers’ everyday battle to live within the minimum wage. But this is still far from the ‘living wage’ that we really aspire for so that our workers and their families would be able to live decently,” said Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

“I am hoping that we would still discuss and study how we could enact a law on ‘living wage,’ how we could fix our wage-setting mechanisms, and how we could strengthen our workers’ bargaining power,” she added.

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“The approval on third and final reading of the P100-minimum wage increase in the private sector reflects our commitment to the economic well-being of our workforce. As we recognize the challenges they face, this wage adjustment is a crucial step toward fostering more equitable and supportive work environment,” said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

TAGS: Senate, wage hike

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