Wegotmail: Statement of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights on the proposed P100 wage hike


Yes, the proposed P100 increase in the minimum wage of private-sector workers nationwide now pending at the Senate is badly needed by the country’s workers, but is not enough to meet their basic needs.

The global cost of living crisis is affecting the Philippines severely. A P100 increase in the minimum wage will help wage earners cope with inflation and high costs of social services. While the proposal will result in wage distortion, it will also help even those who earn above the minimum wage.
While higher than the meager amounts that have been approved by the country’s regional wage boards, a P100 wage increase still falls short of the basic needs of an ordinary family. According to the independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, a family of five needs around P1,100 a day to meet its most basic needs and live decently. It would be better if the proposed wage increase is across-the-board, to avoid wage distortion and wage disputes.
Senate Bill 2534 sponsored by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is necessary especially at this time. The proposed wage hike, though not enough, will help fill the gap between the minimum wage and workers’ cost of living as the country’s 35-year-old regional wage boards have failed to give workers even immediate relief.
As expected, the biggest foreign and local capitalists and neoliberal economists are invoking Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in opposing the P100 wage hike, meager as it already is. The truth is that the biggest foreign and local capitalists do not want even a meager reduction in their profits — even if this means upholding workers’ right to a living wage, which is clearly stipulated in the 1987 Constitution.

If big foreign and local capitalists really want to protect MSMEs, they should press the government for measures that will make doing business by MSMEs easier: lower electric and water rates, eliminate bribes and exorbitant taxes, create favorable credit lines, improve infrastructure and reduce traffic jams.

Kamz Deligente  

Deputy Director  

0960 685 4250


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