Senate president Zubiri firm on legislated P150 wage hike

The Senate remains unwavering in its commitment to increasing the wages for all daily wage workers nationwide through a legislated wage hike.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri said he is confident that with the release of the most recent Pulse Asia nationwide survey a few days ago where there is an overwhelming clamor for wage increases, the Senate will listen to the Filipino people and fulfill its mandate of advancing their welfare.

“Yan ang kailangan nating tutukan at pangako ko po yan. The Senate will make a stand on this issue. Alam ko maraming magagalit sa ating mga negosyante, but share-share lang. Kailangan din po nilang magshare ng biyaya sa ating mga manggagawa,” Zubiri said in an interview with DWIZ over the weekend.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey undertaken from June 19 to 23 about the most urgent national concerns overall, increasing the pay of workers ranked second among the top issues at 44% after controlling inflation, which stood at 63%.

Pulse Asia also surveyed Filipinos on how much they spend on regular monthly household expenses such as housing, food, electricity, water, communications, transportation and the like. Some 38% of the respondents answered P15,001 or more, while 17% answered P14,001 to P15,000 and only 13% said they spend lower than P8,000.

Also in the same survey, a question was posed asking respondents whether or not they are in favor of the proposal to increase by P150 the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector. A whopping 97% said they agree to the proposal.

This question, Zubiri said, was actually a “rider” that his office pushed for inclusion in the Pulse Asia survey questions, asking respondents whether or not they are in favor of a P150 wage hike nationwide.

He said the results were “astounding,” as almost a hundred percent agreed to the proposal and means that, without a doubt, there is a clamor for a P150 wage increase among private sector workers in Metro Manila.

“Ishe-share ko rin po kasi naglagay din ako ng rider question sa Pulse Asia. Isa sa inilagay ko yung sasang-ayon ba sila, o kung mababa ba o sapat na ang sweldo ng mga kababayan natin,” Zubiri expressed.

“97% ang nagsabing hindi sapat at gusto nilang itaas ang kanilang sahod. Only 2% ang nagsabi na sapat na po and the other 1% is undecided. Ibig pong sabihin, 97% ng ating population ay talagang hinihingi po nila sa ating gobyerno na kung pwede itaas man lamang po ang kanilang sahod dahil hindi talaga kaya,” he further explained.

He said will use the recent Pulse Asia survey as an “Exhibit A” to convince his colleagues to support the measure when the Senate resumes deliberation on the legislated wage hike.

The idea, he said, is to have a uniform P150 minimum wage increase nationwide, and they are eyeing several proposals on how to accomplish this.

“We can make it graduated. For example, sa NCR magdaragdag tayo ng P100, di ba? Sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao gawin nating P150 para lahat ay pare-pareho na. Or gawin nating P110 ang Metro Manila tapos P150 na ang lahat,” Zubiri explained.

The NWPC approved last June a P40 increase in the minimum wage for private sector workers in Metro Manila. The order takes effect today, July 15. The wage order is expected to directly benefit 1.1 million minimum wage earners in NCR.