Senate’s proposed P150 wage increase is “not enough” 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 May) —  The proposed P150 wage increase being worked out in the Senate is not enough to help families cope with the increasing cost of basic commodities, labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Southern Mindanao said on Saturday.

Paul John Dizon, KMU-Southern Mindanao secretary general, told MindaNews that their group has urged the Senate to legislate a minimum wage which is close to the current “family living wage” of P1,100 to benefit the laborers in the country.

“Ang 150 pesos nga wage increase nga ginaduso dinha sa senado kay dili gyud siya matawag nga increase (We cannot even consider the P150 wage increase as an “increase” due to the inflation),” he said.

He said they hope all workers in the country, regardless of their status, should get an increase in their basic pay if the proposed measure is passed into law.

“Tanan dapat makadawat. Kulang kaayo kini kompara sa kamahal sa palaliton, pagsaka sa bayad sa tubig ug kuryente ug pagmahal usab sa social services sa nasud (Everyone should get an increase. This is not even enough if we take into consideration the cost of basic commodities, increase in the water and electricity cost, and the expensive social services in the country,” he said.

Last May 10, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, author of Senate Bill No. 2022 or the Across-the-board Wage Increase Act,” said the P150 wage hike has been approved “in principle” by Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources.

Last year, the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-Davao granted a P47 wage hike to all workers in various sectors in the region.

This was implemented in two tranches – the first P31 increase took effect upon the effectivity of wage order on June 19, 2022 and the second P16 increase last January 1, which brought the minimum wage rate to P443 and P438 for workers in non-agriculture and agriculture, respectively.

Workers in the retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 received an additional increase of P15 effective April 1.

In Davao region, Philippine Statistics Authority said that the employment rate in Davao Region stood at 95.1% last January. The underemployment rate was noted at 6.3%. 

The agency reported that the Labor Force Participation Rate during this period stood at 63.2%, which accounted for 2.37 million workers in the region. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)