MANILA--A progressive group on Friday reiterated its call for a P125 across-the-board, saying it is the State’s job to provide economic relief to its citizens.

“The Aquino government makes it appear now that companies’ viability is dependent on the passage of P125 wage hike. This argument doesn’t hold water as companies come and go without any wage hike,” Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) chairman Elmer Labog told Sun.Star.

At the start of the year, the public has been greeted with consistent fuel and commodity price increases, as well as looming rate hike at Metro Manila’s railway systems and electricity, thus squeezing incomes of minimum wage workers.

“When workers demand wage hike, they (Malacañang and employers) said it is inflationary. When oil prices hiked, isn’t that inflationary as well?” Labog asked, referring to the Palace’s fear of spiraling inflation under a higher salary scenario.

As President Benigno Aquino III awaits the recommendations of his economic team on the issue, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo sees nothing wrong in raising salaries as long as it gets approval from the regional wage boards.

“Giving a P125 per day wage hike across the board will make our companies uncompetitive compared to its Asian counterparts. It is not wise to give such at a high amount a time when our companies are gaining grounds in competitiveness,” Domingo said in a previous statement. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)