Lawmakers call for wage hike

A WORKER sews the eye of a customized pet plushie, at the Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory, in Angeles City, Pampanga. — REUTERS

LAWMAKERS urged the government on Wednesday to provide more protection to workers and ensure they earn a decent living through better wages.

“Despite having a vital role in our economic landscape however, our workers remain largely undervalued for their contributions,” Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said in a statement. “And so, we in the Senate stand with every Filipino worker in fighting for their rights, from better wages to safer workplaces.”

The Senate in February passed a bill calling for a P100 across-the-board minimum wage increase for workers in the private sector, amid warnings that a hike that is too high could fan inflation.

At the House Representatives, separate bills that seek to increase wages of private sector workers by P150 to P750 have been filed, as well as another that mandates a P33,000-a-month entry wage for state workers.

Senator Ana Theresia N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said the government must address the plight of formal and informal workers, especially as they work through extreme heat and weather.

“It is my firm belief that our laws and policies must encompass the diverse realities of workers today,” she said in a statement.

At the lower chamber, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said the house will work on coming up with ways to provide quality job prospects for Filipinos.

“The government is steadfast in its resolve to create more job opportunities and to foster an environment where labor rights are protected and economic opportunities flourish,” he said in a statement. — John Victor D. Ordoñez