House Bill Seeks to Increase Wages of Filipino Private Sector Workers by ₱750
A bill seeking to increase wages to ₱750 for private-sector workers in response to high inflation has been filed in the House of Representatives.
House Bill (HB) No. 7568 was filed by the three-person Makabayan Bloc to assist Filipinos employed in private sector companies. The authors of the HB are Assistant Minority Leader and Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, Deputy Minority Leader and Party-list Rep. France Castro, and Party-list Rep. Raoul Danniel Manuel.
According to the HB, private-sector workers, especially personnel active in special economic zones, freeports, and agriculture, are entitled to wage increases. The HB also covers employees deployed by licensed job contractors, manpower agencies, and other such organizations.
HB 7568 also indicates that micro and small enterprises and landowners who own at most five hectares may apply for subsidies until they can afford the proposed increase. However, companies are not allowed to lay off workers or reduce headcount.
Brosas discussed, “This yawning gap between the (average minimum wage and family living wage) of ₱750 across regions starkly represents the vast sea of unfulfilled basic necessities of ordinary Filipino families, which the National Government should urgently address through substantial wage increases amid historic inflationary surges.”
Meanwhile, President of the Foundation for Economic Freedom Calixto V. Chikiamco cited that the better alternative is the increase of workers’ disposable incomes by reducing food prices.
Chikiamco stated, “Increasing wages will increase demand when supply is short, so these would just trigger more inflation, which would hurt the poor and the overall economy because the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would be forced to increase interest rates.”
Moreover, the Vice President of the Federation of Free Workers, Julius Cainglet, discussed that workers’ welfare should be addressed as the government readies the Philippines to welcome more foreign direct investments.
Cainglet noted, “Enterprises have been on the road to recovery with government support, but workers have been left behind.” According to the think tank IBON Foundation’s data, the ₱570 minimum wage in Metro Manila is 49.1% of the ₱1,161 family living wage in January 2023.