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Trade group backs Zubiri’s P150 wage hike proposal

March 17, 2023 - Friday 8:03 PM by GDM Staff

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The country’s largest confederation of trade federations has expressed support for the proposal of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to have a P150 across-the-board wage increase to help Filipinos weather the surging inflation rate.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines backed Senate Bill No. 2002 or the Across-the-Board Wage Increase Act of 2023, filed by Zubiri.

"We welcome these various initiatives to increase the wages of workers because these many proposals, especially spearheaded by the Senate President, underscore the badly needed wage adjustment in light of the erosion of the purchasing power of workers' wages due to inflation."

Zubiri expressed his gratitude to the trade group for throwing its support behind the proposal. 

"We are thankful to have the TUCP's support for the Across-the-Board Wage Hike Bill," said Zubiri. "And we assure them and all our laborers, that we are with them in fighting for living wages."

Addressing concerns from the business sector that the wage hike will force business owners to shut down, or lay employees off, Zubiri countered that failing to increase wages will drive workers to other countries anyway.

"We have two choices: itaas natin ang sweldo ng mga manggagawa, o panoorin natin silang mangibang-bansa para sa mas magandang kita (let's raise the wages of the workers, or let's watch them emigrate for better income)," he said. "Especially since the daily wage in Metro Manila is at about $10 a day, compared to somewhere like the United States, where it's about $10 an hour. Kaya mag-aalisan talaga sila kung hindi sila makakatanggap ng nakabubuhay na sahod (So they will actually leave if they don't receive a living wage)."

"Hindi natin pwedeng gipitin ang mga manggagawa. Sila ang nagpapagalaw ng ating mga industriya (We cannot pressure the workers. They drive our industries). Without them, our industries would shut down, and our economy would plummet. So they really deserve to make a living wage."

Zubiri’s proposal will apply to the entire private sector, agricultural and non-agricultural, regardless of capitalization and number of employees.

At present, the National Capital Region has the highest daily nominal wage rate, at P570 (non-agriculture), while the lowest is at P316 (non-agriculture), for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

At the start of the year, the Philippines saw its highest inflation rate in 14 years, hitting 8.7%. The February inflation rate was at 8.6%.

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