Hontiveros calls to expedite review of minimum wage rates

Hontiveros calls to expedite review of minimum wage rates

Re-electionist Senator Risa Hontiveros on Labor Day calls to speed up the process of reviewing petitions to raise regional minimum wage rates, as the extraordinary rise in the cost of living in the past three years has pushed incomes of minimum wage earners to below the regional poverty lines.

“What’s taking so long? Ano mang delay sa paglalabas ng desisyon ukol sa minimum wage ay pwedeng magdulot ng kagutuman o kawalan ng pag-asa sa mga manggagawa na makaahon pa sila sa patong-patong na bayarin,” Hontiveros said.

It can be recalled that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced in March that it is set to review the minimum wage amid the surging fuel prices. At present, the minimum wage in Metro Manila is at P537 and much lower in the rest of the regions.

The Senator said that the take home pay of minimum wage earners has been overtaken by the fast-rising cost of food, transportation and public utilities over the past three years.

“Tatlong taon nang walang adjustment sa regional minimum wages. Tumaas na ang gastos sa kuryente, pamasahe, pagkain at kinailangan pang gastusan ang internet. Oras na para tingnan at pag-aralan dahil hindi na sasapat ito sa gastusin ng mga pamilyang Pilipino,” she said.

Hontiveros furthered that it is unjust and inhumane that while the productivity of the workers has gone up in the last decade, the purchasing power of their wages has remained flat and is now sinking.

“Hindi pwedeng marami ang nagagawa at natatapos ng mga empleyado pero kakarampot pa rin ang kanilang sinasahod. Kailangang humabol ang pagtataas ng minimum wages, hindi lang sa presyo ng mga bilihin, kundi sa pagtaas din ng productivity ng mga manggagawa,” the Senator stated.

Hontiveros also urged DOLE to take its enforcement of minimum wage mandates more seriously, since even official statistics before the pandemic would show that 1 in 4 wage workers were receiving wages that were below the regional minimums.

“DOLE should report on the process of enforcing the implementation of past minimum wages. Base sa 2018 Labor Force Survey, may nasa almost 10 million of the 41 million employed workers ang hindi nakakatanggap ng minimum wage,” she said.

Hontiveros said that it is not too late for the employers and the agencies involved to act on the matter. Better late than never, she said. She is hoping that the new Malacanang appointments among business representatives in the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards will be released soon to expedite the review and to immediately come up with and release a decision.

“Ngayong Labor Day, maging hudyat sana ito ng pagkilos ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno para unahin ang kapakanan ng mga manggagawa. Dahil ang tunay na pagkilala sa kanila ay pagbibigay ng makataong sweldo at tamang benepisyo para sa kanilang serbisyo,” she concluded.

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