Sen. Jinggoy Estrada backs House version of wage hike bill

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has signified his willingness to convince his colleagues in terms of adopting a wage hike bill from the House of Representatives, even if it would propose higher pay increase.

“It’s up to them if they would adopt our version. If they adopt it, that’s well and good. If they will increase, or if they pass a bill proposing more than P100 wage increase, I would adopt it. We will adopt it in the Senate. I will convince my colleagues to adopt it,” Estrada told reporters on Tuesday.

READ: Senate approves P100 daily wage hike bill

Estrada, chairperson of the Senate’s committee on labor, employment and human resources development, sponsored Senate Bill No. 2534—a landmark measure pushing for a P100 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector.

READ: P150 wage hike pushed in House

3rd and final reading

The bill hurdled the Senate’s third and final reading on February 19, gaining 20 affirmative votes, zero negative, and zero abstentions.

Only Senators Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, Cynthia Villar, and Mark Villar were not able to cast their vote because they were not in the session hall during voting.

According to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, should the measure get signed into law, it would be the first time since 1989 that a legislated pay hike would be implemented nationwide.

The measure received enough support in the upper chamber, but some lawmakers in the House of Representatives are pushing for more.

Deputy Speaker Raymond Mendoza, for an instance, called on the leadership of the lower chamber to pass a bill seeking a P150 across-the-board wage increase nationwide for private sector workers.

Mendoza’s House Bill No. 7871 not only calls for a P150 wage increase, but it also seeks to offer wage subsidies for micro and small enterprises.