Senator Raffy Tulfo (File photo) 

MANILA – Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday filed a measure seeking to improve the working conditions of workers and at the same time review existing policies on the minimum wage increase to determine if they fit today’s standard of living.

In his Senate Resolution 476, which seeks a review of the existing policies on minimum wage increases, Tulfo said this is to determine if last year’s wage increase could still sustain the living conditions of workers, considering that many of them are facing financial difficulties brought about by rising inflation.

The latest minimum wage increase took effect on June 4, 2022, with the rates ranging from PHP533 to PHP570 per day in the National Capital Region. The increase in minimum wage outside Metro Manila, meanwhile, took effect between June 6 and June 30 last year, with the rates ranging from PHP306 to PHP470.

Despite the increase, Tulfo said the rising inflation, which reqached 8.7 percent in January, has significantly impacted the cost of living, making it difficult for workers to make ends meet with their current wages.

He maintained that the minimum wage serves as a critical tool for ensuring that workers receive a basic standard of living and for promoting economic growth.

“It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that the minimum wage is set at a level that provides workers with a decent standard of living, taking into account factors, such as inflation rates,” Tulfo’s resolution read.

Labor groups have called for a new round of wage hikes to recover the lost purchasing power of workers, not just in Metro Manila but in the whole country.

Tulfo noted that it is imperative to improve the standard of living and quality of life for workers, particularly those in the lower income bracket, and to ensure that the policies on the minimum wage increase are fair, effective, and consistent with the needs of the workers and the economy. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)