Senate considering approval of P100 minimum wage increase

Senators propose P100 wage hike as Valentine’s gift to workers

MANILA, Philippines — Senators are hoping to approve this week the proposed P100 increase for minimum wage earners as a Valentine’s gift to Filipino workers, Sen. Nancy Binay said yesterday.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and other senators are supportive of the proposal to provide a P100 increase for minimum wage earners, Binay said.

“To me, this P100 minimum wage increase might be a good Valentine’s gift to our kababayan,” Binay said in an interview over dwIZ.

“Let’s see, this might be approved this week,” she added.

Considered one of the top priorities of the Senate, the proposed measure is estimated to benefit over 4.2 million minimum wage earners.

“Like the Senate President said, this is a priority measure that we want passed. In a survey, this P100 minimum wage increase is the number three concern of our kababayan on how to increase their income so they can have funds for their needs,” Binay continued.

She expressed belief that the business sector is amenable to the proposed measure, which will exempt small and medium enterprises.

She noted that the business sector will not be burdened, as Congress has already passed measures on decreasing corporate taxes. “It’s the time for them to make sacrifices.”

The senator, however, could not say whether the proposal has a counterpart in the House of Representatives. Under the procedure, before a bill becomes a law, both Houses must pursue a similar measure, then their representatives will meet in a bicameral conference to harmonize conflicting provisions then forward it to the President for signature.

Last Wednesday, the Senate panel endorsed to the plenary the proposed measure seeking a P100 daily minimum wage increase for private sector workers in the entire country.

Zubiri, the principal author of the wage increase, enjoined his senator-colleagues to support the passage of Senate Bill 2534, which was co-authored by Binay, Senators Bong Revilla Jr., Loren Legarda, Bong Go and Jinggoy Estrada.

“Ever since we filed our bill for a P150 across-the-board wage increase, our compatriots have been asking me every day, ‘Senator Migz, when will be the wage increase that you were saying before?’” Zubiri said in his co-sponsorship speech.

“Calls for (a wage increase) became louder right when the issue of the people’s initiative for Charter change began heating up,” he said. “Many are asking, why not just prioritize the wage increase instead?”

Zubiri said that “here in the Senate, there have been rallies with the cry, ‘No to Cha-cha, yes to wage increase’.”

In his sponsorship speech, Estrada said the goal of the labor committee – and the collective conscience of the Senate – is to update the minimum wage by P100 for workers in the private sector.

Under this measure, Estrada said all employees in the private sector in the entire country, whether agricultural or non-agricultural, are entitled to a P100 minimum wage increase. This would guarantee an increased daily pay for around 4.2 million minimum wage earners.

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