A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday renewed its demand for the House of Representatives to pass the proposed P125 hike in the minimum wage for workers in the private sector.
At the same time, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap batted for the passage of a measure increasing the monthly pay of employees and workers in the public sector by P6,000 as contained in House Bill 3015.
“We all know that the Filipino worker is submerged in deep poverty and hunger, and so we challenge the house leadership to help facilitate the passage of the bills wage increase,” Hicap said.
The proposal for a P125 across- the- board wage increase for workers in the private sector has been filed in the past congresses but failed to prosper due to strong opposition from the employers groups.
In pushing for the passage of House Bill 253, Hicap cited figures from the National Wages and Productivity Commission which shows that the highest among minimum wage levels is that of the National Capital Region which is at P481. While the lowest occurs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao at P250, he added.
In the Greater Manila areas, Hicap said the minimum wage for Central Luzon is at P349 and for Calabarzon P362.
Based on government data, Hicap pointed out poverty incidence among population increased from 24.6 percent to 25.8 percent from 2013 to 2014, while on families from 18.8 percent to 20 percent. Cross-referenced to government projected population, the increase was about 1.6- million Filipinos or with families living under the threshold P8,778 per month.
“The number of poor Filipinos has continuously increased despite the government’s setting of a much lower threshold and contrary to the rosy picture that it has been trying, to project that the workers who earn a minimum could make ends meet for their family and they are not considered poor,” Hicap pointed out.
Hicap lamented that Filipino workers’ families are enduring the rising cost of living such as food, housing, education and other basic needs; and yet the government has yet to provide a relief to help them uplift their lives.
“The cost of living is evidently swelling, but wage has been stuck to the lowest levels; the demand for wage hike is long overdue and this is our call,” Hicap said.