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Senate OKs P100 wage hike bill

MANILA, February 20 ------ The Senate passed on third reading Senate Bill No. 2534, which seeks a P100 daily minimum wage increase for employees and workers in the private sector. Twenty senators voted in favor, with zero negative vote and no abstentions. 


Sen. Chiz Escudero clarified that based on existing laws, the bill exempts establishments with less than 10 employees, establishments with P3 million capital, and barangay micro business enterprises. Bill sponsor Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said a higher minimum wage would stimulate the economy and increase consumers' purchasing power. Majority floor leader Joel Villanueva said increasing the daily minimum wage would have “very minimal impact on inflation and low probability of causing job losses.” 


“There are also enough safeguards and fiscal relief in place to ensure that MSMEs, particularly micro enterprises, will not be negatively affected by the said increase,” Villanueva said. Senators Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar and Mark Villar were not in the session hall during the 3rd reading voting of wage hike bill. Both Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) urged lawmakers to finally pass the wage hike bill. 


Sonny Africa, Executive Director of IBON Foundation, believes legislators should start focusing on workers issues instead of Charter Change, which he said will not necessarily help workers. House leaders last week said they were carefully studying the Senate's proposed legislated wage hike, as they refused to give "false hopes" to Filipino laborers. "The marching orders of the Speaker and the leaders of the House ay gawin ang lahat para maibsan ang hirap ng buhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino pero kaakibat doon yung gagawin mo ang totoong mangyayari hindi yung paasa lang," House Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin said. "Pinag-aaralan ito kasi di pwedeng bigyan mo ng mataas na sweldo yung mga tao, eh di naman gobyerno ang magpapasweldo eh," she added. 



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