Fidel Nograles

Nograles: Can gov’t afford wage subsidies?

February 29, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 89 views

CAN the government afford wage subsidies?”

This was the question raised by the chair of the House of Representatives labor and employment committee after various sectors threw their support behind the provision of wage subsidies so that companies could fund a minimum wage increase.

“A number of sectors have raised the possibility of government subsidizing the proposed wage increase during the hearing. I think this is a sound idea, but we also have to ask our economic managers whether the government can also cover the cost of such subsidies,” Rizal 4th District Rep. Fidel Nograles said.

Nograles’ committee heard several bills proposing an across-the-board minimum wage increase, with amounts ranging from P150 to P750.

Recently, the Senate passed on third and final reading a measure seeking a P100-increase for minimum wage earners.

The proposal to increase minimum wages has elicited mixed proposals, with workers groups emphasizing that the wage increase would help them cope with the high cost of living.

Employer groups, meanwhile, have said a legislated increase might cause job losses and inflation.

Nograles said he will direct his committee to ask for the government’s input regarding a wage subsidy.

“Besides the wage subsidy, we will also continue to find measures that could help us come up with a win-win situation for all involved,” said the lawmaker.