Sotto backs wage hike proposal after polls

MANILA Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday expressed support to the proposal for a PHP710 increase in the daily minimum wage for Metro Manila workers.

Sotto, however, noted that the proposed wage hike must be addressed after the conduct of the May 13 elections this year.

"I can understand the timing because of May 1st but it's also election period therefore it would be wise to address it after the elections. In principle, I am supportive," said Sotto in a text message.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said a thorough study must be done first regarding the proposal to increase wages, considering key factors such as inflation.

"Wage hikes are always associated with inflation as a consequence of higher prices of goods, especially in the manufacturing sector not to mention possible loss of jobs since business may not be able to cope," Lacson said.

Lacson also noted that regional wage boards should be given enough flexibility to give them a better position to decide on the matter.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), touted as the country's largest labor union, said that it will be seeking for a PHP710 per day acrosstheboard wage increase for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) in order to lift more Filipinos out of poverty.

If the union's petition is approved, this will bring the minimum wage in Metro Manila to PHP1,247 per day, even as the wage hike petition is intended to benefit employees acrosstheboard, TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay explained.

"We are not hitting President Duterte or the government with this (wage hike petition), we are just telling the decision makers there is an urgent need to raise wages so that people can live decently. It seems that some government economists have set the poverty threshold very much lower than what it should be," he said.

Tanjusay said that government considers a family consisting or five members who have a total household monthly income of PHP10,481 as "out of poverty".

However, he added that the NCRRTWPB will be called upon to factorin recent developments such as inflationary spikes in food and other basic goods, in setting "realistic wages".

At present, the daily minimum wage for employees in Metro Manila is set at PHP537. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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