Mixed reactions; Local labor, biz groups divided on P100 wage hike bill passage

Posted by watchmen
February 21, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The passage of Senate Bill 2534, which proposed a P100 daily minimum wage increase for private sector workers, on the third and final reading in the Senate has received mixed responses from local labor and business groups.

In a radio interview, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Executive Director Frank Carbon said if the bill is officially signed into law, many business owners may be forced to lay off workers, ultimately resulting in an economic downturn.

Carbon said the bill could also turn down investors in the country.

The MBCCI director added that the business sector is dismayed as the Senate never considered their position.

More than 15 business groups in Bacolod City have already sent their manifesto to express their strong opposition to the wage increase.

The minimum daily wage in Western Visayas is currently at P480.

If the P100 wage increase bill is signed into law, the daily wage in the region will increase to P580.

Meanwhile, local progressive group leader and labor rights advocate Epi Gelle welcomed the passage of the bill, pointing out it would greatly help the workers.

Gelle said the significant wage hike should have been done a long time ago.

He claimed that the daily wage increase for a family of five should ideally be more than P1,000.

Nonetheless, Gelle thanked the 20 senators who voted in favor of the bill, and hopes that the House of Representatives will likewise approve a similar measure.

Senate Bill 2534, or the P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act of 2023 for private sector workers, was approved on the third and final reading on Monday, February 19.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, the bill’s co-sponsor, said if the measure is signed into law, it could be the first time since 1989 that a legislated pay hike would be implemented nationwide.

He emphasized the pressing need to increase the minimum wage for workers, particularly those in the Visayas and Mindanao, who only earn P360 per day./DGB, WDJ


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