CITING the need to reconcile differences in substance, House committee on labor and employment chair and Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles has approved the referral of various measures seeking the rationalization of the minimum wages of workers in the private sector to a sub-committee.
“Congress recognizes the clamor for an increase in minimum wage to help our fellow Filipinos cope with the rising cost of goods. We have referred the minimum wage bills to the Sub-Committee on Labor Standards to ensure that we give due focus and come up with a unified bill that best represents the intent and substance of the various bills,” Nograles said.
Around 7 bills seeking to address the minimum wage issue amid record inflation have been referred to the sub-committee.
The inflation rate for November hit 8.0 percent, the highest in 14 years.
The Philippine Statistics Authority earlier reported that higher prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose by 10.0 percent, have been among the main drivers of the inflation rate.
These bills, however, vary in response to the call for increased wages.
House Bill No. 525 by KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron Salo and HB 4471 by Bukidnon Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. seek the fixed amount of P750 as the national minimum wage.
Meanwhile, HB No. 514 by Cavite Rep. Ramon Jolo Revilla III proposes a P150 daily across-the-board increase in the salary rates.
HB No. 1111 by Pangasinan Rep. Ramon Guico Jr; HB No. 3308 by Camarines Norte Rep. Josefina Tallado; HB No. 4898 by GABRIELA Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas; and HB No. 1579 by TINGOG Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez push for the prescription of national minimum wages by the National Wages and Productivity Commission. Currently, Regional Wages and Tripartite Boards determine minimum wage adjustments.
Nograles gave assurances that the sub-committee “would work double-time” to reconcile the various bills.
“Everyone is aware that this is an urgent issue that requires immediate action. Makakaasa po ang mga kababayan natin na hindi magpapabaya ang buong komite, at maging ang buong Kongreso sa pagtalakay kung ano ang pinakamainam na solusyon sa kanilang panawagan,” said the Harvard-trained lawyer.
The Sub-Committee on Labor Standards is co-chaired by Quezon City Rep. Keith Micah Tan and Caloocan Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy.
The members include Brosas, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Leody Tarriela, and Quezon City Rep. Ralph Wendel Tulfo.