Philippine Lawmaker Urges Prioritization of Wage Hike Bills Before Labor Day

Philippine lawmaker calls for P150 daily wage hike as workers demand living wage amid rising costs. Business groups oppose, setting stage for legislative battle with Labor Day deadline.

Bijay Laxmi
Updated On
New Update
Philippine Lawmaker Urges Prioritization of Wage Hike Bills Before Labor Day

Philippine Lawmaker Urges Prioritization of Wage Hike Bills Before Labor Day

Philippine lawmaker France Castro is calling on the House of Representatives to prioritize pending bills proposing a daily wage increase of P150 to P750 for private sector workers before the upcoming Labor Day holiday. This urgent appeal comes amid the Senate's recent approval of a P100 across-the-board salary hike, which has been met with mixed reactions from labor groups and business organizations.

Workers have been actively mobilizing and demanding a legislated wage increase to meet the family living wage (FLW) standards, as the current minimum wage of P440 falls significantly short of the average FLW of P1,207. The government has also faced criticism for the low basic pay of its own workers, starting at P13,000 for national agencies and a mere P8,450 for local government units.

The Associated Labor Unions (ALU) has been at the forefront of the push for a P150 across-the-board wage hike, citing the stagnation or decline of minimum wages in some regions over the past 35 years, despite the exponential increase in labor productivity. ALU argues that the current minimum wages are insufficient for workers to reach their region's monthly poverty threshold, and even the proposed wage increase would still fall short of addressing the issue comprehensively.

Why this matters: The ongoing debate surrounding the proposed wage hike highlights the growing income inequality and the struggle of workers to maintain a decent standard of living amidst rising costs. The outcome of this legislative battle will have significant implications for the welfare of millions of Filipino workers and their families.

Business groups, however, have expressed opposition to a legislated wage hike, preferring to leave wage setting to tripartite regional boards. The proposed wage increase bills are currently pending before the House Committee on Labor and Employment, and their fate remains uncertain as the Labor Day deadline approaches. As Castro emphasizes, "Workers have long been clamoring for a legislated wage increase, and it is high time for the government to listen and act on their demands."

Key Takeaways

  • Philippine lawmaker calls for P150-P750 daily wage hike before Labor Day.
  • Senate approved P100 across-the-board salary hike, met with mixed reactions.
  • Workers demand legislated wage increase to meet family living wage standards.
  • Labor unions push for P150 hike, citing stagnant wages despite productivity growth.
  • Business groups oppose legislated hike, prefer wage setting by tripartite boards.