MANILA, Philippines — Suspend the collection of excise taxes, implement a considerable minimum wage hike or do both.
These are the options government can choose from to cushion the adverse impact on Filipinos of the enormous price hike that oil companies will impose this week, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Monday, March 7.
Estrada said suspending excise tax collection on fuel and adjusting minimum wage require a tough balancing act of decision-making on the part of government but the Duterte administration must do it swiftly.
“Our people are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, they urgently need a respite from the economic troubles that the wave of oil price adjustments bring,” he stated.
Estrada noted that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has recently declared that the P537 minimum wage for the National Capital Region “is too small”. He pointed out that Bello made this observation before the forthcoming oil price hike was announced.
Estrada, who is seeking a fresh Senate term, believes that the same holds true in all other urban areas in the country like Metro Cebu, Metro Davao and other cities.
“Even before the pandemic, the average minimum wage is considered insufficient to provide for the daily livelihood of a worker and his family,” said the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor.
“With the rising global price of crude oil due to the Russian incursion of Ukraine, the low take home pay of workers becomes a critical problem,” Estrada noted.
The UniTeam senatorial bet also supported calls for the temporary suspension of the imposition of excise taxes on fuel, saying that government financial managers should study the proposal by taking into consideration the plight of heavily burdened Filipinos.
“If reelected to the Senate, I will initiate reforms in the Wage Rationalization Act, which placed the responsibility of setting the minimum wage with 17 regional wage boards, to allow more flexibility in government to adjust the pay for ordinary workers,” he noted.
Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1564473/jinggoy-estrada-pushes-for-suspension-of-fuel-tax-wage-increase-amid-impending-oil-price-hike#ixzz7SzazqH9T