The House leadership adopted HB 345 providing for a legislated, nationwide and across-the-board wage hike of P125 for the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, we welcome this as a positive development.
HB 345 was passed by the House leadership not because they believe it is an overdue and much deserved relief for workers everywhere, but as part of its intramurals with the Senate and its efforts to prop up its image after the ConAss fiasco.
P125 will not suffice, much less alleviate workers’ plight caused by policies pursued by government, but it is a welcome change in policy direction. It is after all a step, albeit a very small step, towards ensuring a “living wage” for the working class.
The National Wages and Productivity Commission estimated that as of October this year, a family of six in the National Capital Region would require a living wage amounting to P764 a day.
The challenge now is for the Senate to prioritize the bill for urgent passage.
We warn both chambers from diluting the spirit of the bill by turning it into another political chip for propaganda points, and instead do the right thing and give workers some semblance of hope for a better life.
We do not want the P125 wage hike bill to suffer the same fate as the public sector pay hike bill which was tossed around in an ego game between the Senate on the one hand and the House and the Executive on the other.
We also demand that Congress do overtime work to ensure the passage of the public sector wage hike bill and other measures that would strengthen workers’ and trade union rights. This includes bills on the right to organize, particularly SN2466, the right to collectively bargain and the right to hold concerted actions. These bills have gathered dust due to inaction and disinterest!
After all, any wage hike can never be fully implemented if workers do not have unions that can enforce their collective interests.