Labor group defends proposed P100 daily minimum wage increase

Labor group defends proposed
P100 daily minimum wage increase
File photo

A CEBU-BASED labor group said Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, that it is capitalists who refuse to reduce profit margins, and not the implementation of wage increases, that cause the rising prices of goods and services.

In a statement Tuesday, the Alyansa sa mga Mamumuo sa Sugbo-Kilusang Mayo Uno (AMA Sugbo KMU) expressed support for the proposed Senate Bill 2534 or “An Act Providing for a P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase for Employees and Workers in the Private Sector,” currently pending second reading.

The group hit Employers Confederation of the Philippines president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. and Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma for making statements that the proposed adjustment in the daily pay of minimum wage earners may hurt the country’s economy.

Laguesma, in a press conference Friday, Feb. 9, said the proposed adjustment has an impact on the operational cost of any business, while Ortiz-Luis during a radio interview over dzME on Friday, claimed that the proposed bill puts micro, small, and medium enterprises, that have less capital, at a disadvantage and will scare off foreign investors from investing in the country.

These, however, did not sit well with AMA Sugbo KMU chairman Jamie Paglinawan, who said that Laguesma and Ortiz-Luis should instead focus on helping the workers get their rights.

“The capitalists will immediately increase the prices of basic goods and services so that they can recover the profit that was lost from their ‘super’ profits,” said Paglinawan.

He said increasing wages results in an increase in the workers’ productivity, considering that wage hikes increase workers’ purchasing power.

The labor group also demanded that legislators speed up the passage of Senate Bill 2534 and that Congress file a similar bill instead of focusing on the proposed Charter Change.

In a press release on Friday, Laguesma said he respects the legislative power of Congress and said Dole is willing to provide technical input on the proposed bill in consideration of Republic Act 6127 or the Wage Rationalization Act.

Dole said 15 out of the 16 Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards in the country issued wage orders in 2023. Nine were initiated without petition from any labor organization. The increases ranged from P30 to P89.


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