Estrada ready to adopt House version of minimum wage hike bill

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill seeking a PHP100 minimum wage hike in the private sector, said Monday that he is looking forward to adopting the House of Representatives’ version of the measure.

This came after the announcement of House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe saying their members are eyeing to pass a higher minimum wage increase.

“I will adopt their bill if it is more than PHP100,” Estrada said.

In his sponsorship speech, Estrada noted that a higher minimum wage shall not only impact the lives of workers by meeting their basic needs but will also stimulate the local economy.

“We should bear in mind that a flourishing economy relies on the vitality of its workforce, who are considered the lifeblood of enterprises,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero was delighted to hear about the plan of the members of the House of Representatives.

“It’s nice to see that things are ‘moving forward’ not only for the Filipino workers but also for both Houses of Congress,” Escudero said.

“I have always believed that while we may disagree on a couple of things, there are so much more that we can agree on and work on together – and focusing on the things that bind us and we agree on is the key to healing and unifying not only Congress but our nation and people as well,” he added.

Escudero was the one who pointed out that a PHP100 wage increase for workers will not bust the economy as such increases in the past have not led to economic collapse.

Ray of hope

A labor group, meanwhile, said it is banking on the House of Representatives’ move to seek a higher amount of minimum pay hike for private sector workers.

“With the Lower House’s higher wage hike proposal than the Senate-approved P100, we in the Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition could only anticipate for a more positive, amiable, and substantive meeting of minds among our lawmakers,” the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition said in a statement.

“We are happy that Congress now shares willingness to adjust wages by way of legislation,” it added.

The group also said the move would be a big help to employees in coping with the soaring cost of living.

At the same time, the labor organization added that they will attend the House Labor Committee’s public hearing set on Feb. 28.

“We will present our own arguments and state our solid support to the proposed bills seeking legislated wage hikes despite variances in the amounts,” it said. (PNA)