Philippine Senate approves P100 daily wage hike bill

MANILA: The landmark bill proposing a P100 (US$1.78) increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector got a step closer to becoming a law as the Senate approved it on its third and final reading.

Senate Bill No. 2534 under Committee Report No. 190 received 20 affirmative votes during the chamber’s plenary session on Monday (Feb 19). The proposed law did not obtain any negative votes or abstentions as Sens. Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, Cynthia Villar, and Mark Villar were not in the session hall during voting and were not able to cast their vote.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, co-sponsor of the bill, earlier noted that if the measure gets signed into law, it could be “the first time since 1989” that a legislated pay hike would be implemented nationwide.

Zubiri likewise emphasised the pressing need to increase the minimum wage of workers, particularly those in Visayas and Mindanao who are currently earning P360 a day.

“How can you live with P360 a day? It’s impossible. Once this bill is passed and becomes a law, this will provide a great relief to our poor and hardworking employees,” he earlier noted.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who sponsored the bill on the Senate floor, said the measure guarantees an increase in the daily pay of around 4.2 million minimum wage earners.

Under the bill, all employees in the private sector, whether agricultural or non-agricultural, are entitled to a P100-daily minimum wage increase. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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