Senate Urged to Support Minimum Wage Increase

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Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri Calls on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Support the P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act

In a recent development, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to back the P100 daily minimum wage increase act, which has been approved by the Senate. Zubiri emphasized that the president’s support for a legislated increase in the minimum wage would be the best way to serve the country’s workers.

Zubiri expressed his solidarity with the president’s call for the regional tripartite wage and productivity boards (RTWPBs) to regularly review the minimum wages. He also stressed the importance of the national wages and productivity commission in ensuring that these boards carry out their responsibilities effectively.

According to Zubiri, Senate Bill (SB) 2534, also known as the P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act, would be a significant step towards providing laborers with the living wages they deserve. Given the persistent rise in the prices of goods due to inflation, Zubiri even suggested that the bill could be certified as urgent.

The bill was successfully passed on its third and final reading in February, garnering support from various senators. Zubiri, who played a key role in authoring the bill, expressed confidence that the House of Representatives would introduce a counterpart bill.

Addressing Inflation and the Need for a Minimum Wage Increase

Zubiri highlighted the escalating inflation rates, which have outpaced the wage boards’ ability to keep up. In March, inflation stood at 3.7 percent, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected it to range between 3.5 to 4.3 percent for April. These figures underscore the urgency of implementing a minimum wage increase to alleviate the burden faced by workers.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III echoed Zubiri’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of legislating a minimum wage instead of relying solely on regional pay hikes. Senators Juan Edgardo Angara and Francis Tolentino also supported the president’s directive to review minimum wage rates, deeming it timely.

Pimentel argued that if the existing system requires the president’s intervention to prompt the regional wage boards to review and adjust wage rates, then it signifies a flaw in the system. He criticized the wage boards for being out of touch with the reality on the ground and insensitive to the actual situation faced by workers.

Angara echoed the sentiment that workers have endured prolonged suffering, calling for long-term support for farmers and the food industry to lower prices and reduce the need for food imports. Tolentino expressed his support for the president’s initiative, emphasizing the importance of considering employers’ sustainable business positions while enabling workers to cope with inflation.

The House’s Role in Wage Increase and Stakeholder Consultations

House Deputy Majority Leader Faustino Dy 5th emphasized the need for a thorough study before implementing a wage increase. He assured the public that the House of Representatives is currently conducting committee hearings to gather inputs from various stakeholders, including labor organizers and unions. Dy emphasized the importance of finding a sustainable solution that benefits workers.

During the same press conference, House Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre welcomed the president’s order for the wage boards to review minimum wages. Acidre suggested the possibility of establishing industry wage boards as an alternative to the regional wage boards.

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition’s Call for Presidential Certification of Wage Hike Bills

In response to the president’s call for a review of wage hikes, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition urged the presidential certification of bills related to wage increases. The coalition made this demand in light of the rising hunger, the prospect of higher inflation, and the prolonged lean months caused by the impact of El Niño.

The call for presidential certification reflects the urgency felt by labor organizations and unions to address the challenges faced by workers. By certifying these bills, the president can expedite their passage and demonstrate his commitment to improving the welfare of the labor sector.


Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri’s call for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s support for the P100 daily minimum wage increase act highlights the pressing need to address the challenges faced by workers in the Philippines. The rising inflation rates and the inability of wage boards to keep up with the cost of living necessitate a legislated increase in the minimum wage.

The Senate’s approval of the bill and Zubiri’s confidence in the House of Representatives’ support indicate a growing consensus on the importance of providing laborers with living wages. The House’s ongoing consultations with stakeholders and the potential establishment of industry wage boards further demonstrate a commitment to finding sustainable solutions.

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition’s call for presidential certification underscores the urgency felt by labor organizations to alleviate the burden faced by workers. By expediting the passage of wage hike bills, the president can demonstrate his dedication to improving the welfare of the labor sector and addressing the challenges posed by inflation and other economic factors.

Source: The Manila Times

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