By Wilnard Bacelonia

TOUGH JOB. Workers do manual labor at a building construction site along Timog Avenue, Quezon City on July 11, 2023. The PHP40 minimum wage hike in Metro Manila took effect on July 16. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The call for a nationwide PHP150 across-the-board wage hike in the Senate is getting louder after Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. has joined Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri in pushing for the passage of the legislation.

Revilla on Monday stressed the importance of legislating the pay hike to allow workers’ meager earnings to catch up with the rising cost of basic goods despite the recent PHP40 increase approved by Metro Manila’s regional wage board and affirmed by the National Wages and Productivity Commission.

“Napakalaki ng utang na loob natin sa mga manggagawa, at kahit ngayong ipinatupad na ang PHP40 wage hike sa NCR ay naniniwala akong kulang na kulang ito para sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin kaya tuloy pa rin ang pagsulong natin sa PHP150 na dagdag sahod pa (We owe the workers a lot, and despite the fact that the PHP40 wage hike is now being implemented in NCR, I believe that it is not enough for daily expenses that’s why we will continue to push for the PHP150 wage hike)”, he said.

Revilla and Zubiri have filed separate measures seeking to grant a PHP150 wage increase to all employees of the private sector, regardless of the region or sector they belong to.

“Everyone is feeling the brunt of these hard times. Lalo na ang ating mga manggagawa na silang nagtataguyod ng ating ekonomiya. Maging sa nayon man o siyudad, mga nagtatrabaho sa bukid, sa pabrika at kahit ang mga nag-o-opisina, sila ang mga nagpapakapagod magtrabaho na hindi lang nakakatulong sa kani-kanila nilang pamilya kundi sa atin ring bansa (Everyone is feeling the brunt of these hard times. This is especially true for the workers who boost our economy. Whether they work in far-flung areas or the cities, in farms, factories, and offices, they work really hard and help not only their families but the country as well),” Revilla said.

In a news release on Sunday, Zubiri cited the results of the recent nationwide survey of Pulse Asia showing that increasing the pay of workers ranked second among what the respondents consider as urgent national concerns, at 44 percent. 

The top concern that respondents said needs immediate action from the national government is about controlling inflation at 63 percent. (PNA)