By Wilnard Bacelonia

Construction workers (PNA photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – Individuals employed under contractual, sub-contractual agreements or manpower agencies would be included in the bill proposing a PHP100 increase in the daily minimum wage for private sector workers, a senator assured Wednesday.

Senate Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros specifically cited construction workers, security guards, utilities, waiters, and other workers in the service sector, who are usually under contractual or sub-contractual agreements.

“Ito ay paraan para maipamalas natin ang equal treatment at fair labor practices para sa lahat ng manggagawa, ano pa man ang kanyang employment status (This is a way to manifest equal treatment and fair labor practices for all our workers, whatever the employment status),” Hontiveros said in a statement Wednesday.

Senators unanimously passed Senate Bill No. 2534, also known as the “PHP100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act of 2023,” which mandates a PHP100 daily wage hike for all private sector workers, both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

“There is an urgent need for reforms to enhance the effectiveness of wage-setting mechanisms and strengthen workers’ bargaining power that will help us further uplift the lives of our minimum wage workers,” Hontiveros added.

Senator Grace Poe urged employers to provide allowances and benefits to their workers to help them cope with the rising prices of commodities and fuel products.

Poe said the assistance would help the country’s wage earners get by as the Senate approved on the third and final reading of the wage hike bill.

“I urge employers with the means to provide supplementary allowances or benefits to extend this assistance to their employees,” Poe said. “I am sure the businesses that truly care about their workers would find a way to make necessary adjustments.”

Both Hontiveros and Poe cited a January 2024 study by IBON Foundation which revealed that a family of five in Metro Manila needs PHP1,193 per day or PHP25,946 per month to sustain a decent standard of living.

However, as of July 16, 2023, the National Capital Region’s daily minimum wage stands at only half of the said amount. (PNA)