Not just timely but essential, Jinggoy says on the P35 pay hike to NCR workers

Given the rising inflation rate impacting poor households, the P35 increase in the daily minimum wage for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) is not just timely but essential, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said.

“Mas mahirap sa mga naghihikahos nating kababayan na tustusan ang pang-araw-araw na gastusin ng kanilang pamilya ang patuloy na pagtaas na presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin kaya makakatulong ang dagdag sa sahod lalo na sa mga minimum wage earners. Pero sana tumaas pa ang arawang sahod nila dahil kakarampot kung tutuusin ang dagdag na P35,” Estrada said, adding that it would be more satisfactory if the existing wage rate is given a legislated wage hike.

Estrada, a known labor advocate, steered the passage in the upper chamber of Senate Bill No. 2534 – a landmark measure pushing for a P100 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector.

Nonetheless, Estrada commended the NCR-Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board’s grant of pay adjustment to the estimated 1.1 million minimum wage earners in Metro Manila saying that the move reflects their recognition of the hardships that workers are enduring and the need to enhance their purchasing power.

“While this increase is a positive development, we must continue to strive for comprehensive measures that will further protect and uplift the lives of our workers. Ensuring wages keep pace with the cost of living and inflation is fundamental to promoting economic stability and social equity,” the Senate leader pointed out.

“But for the meantime, this adjustment will provide much-needed relief to our workers and their families, ensuring they have a better chance at maintaining a decent standard of living,” he added.

Estrada likewise underscored the importance of supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which account for 99.5 percent of the total number of business establishments in the country.

“We must strike a balance between ensuring fair wages for our workers and supporting the growth and sustainability of our MSMEs. Providing incentives and support for these businesses will help them adapt to wage increases while continuing to thrive and contribute to economic growth,” the senator explained.

Estrada reaffirmed his commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipino workers.

“I will continue to push for policies that promote fair wages, job security, and overall well-being for all workers in the Philippines so we can build a more equitable and prosperous nation,” he said.

The NCR-TWPB issued on June 27, 2024 Wage Order NCR-25, bringing the minimum wage for non-agriculture workers from P610 to P645, and for those in the agriculture sector, service and retail establishments employing 15 or fewer workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers, from P573 to P608.