Lawmaker to push for minimum wage hike

March 11, 2022 People's Journal 245 views

HOUSE Committee on Labor and Employment Chairman Representative Enrico “Eric” Pineda announced that the Committee will be discussing the possibility of wage increases and continuing its deliberations over measures seeking to institutionalize a national minimum wage for private sector workers. “It’s high time we raise the minimum wage, considering the rising costs of goods and the effects of the pandemic,” Pineda, a representative of 1-Pacman, stated.

House Bills (HB) 246, 276, 541, 668, 2878, 6668, 6752 which all propose to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines to institutionalize a national minimum wage for private sector workers will be part of the meeting’s agenda. “The cost of goods is not different in all places around the country. which was a primary reason for making wages higher in larger cities in Metro Manila. That reason is barely evident now, since malls have been popping up in provinces, offering the same goods for the same prices, and with the rising gasoline prices, which is even more expensive outside Metro Manila. The effect of the rising gas prices is that everything also goes up. Further, additional expenses are now necessary due to the pandemic. People need to buy masks, vitamins, disinfecting materials, and spend on testing. How do we expect our workers to keep up without any increase in their salaries?” the lawmaker explained.

The House Bills (HB) were initially discussed by the Committee on Labor and Employment last February 2020, before the onset of the pandemic in the Philippines and the implementation of Community Quarantines. However, no agreement was reached because several issues still needs further discussion. “We will open deliberations once again also so that we can have some discussions on the feasibility of raising minimum wage through the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC). All stakeholders will be invited so that they may be able to participate and air out their concerns. Our aim always is to strike a balance between labor and management, while also putting importance on the welfare of workers,” Pineda added finally.