MANILA As the country gears up for the Labor Day celebration, two partylist lawmakers have filed a measure seeking to set a nationwide daily wage of PHP600 for all private sector workers.
Kabayan Representatives Ron Salo and Ciriaco Calalang filed House bill 7527, known as the "Minimum Wage Act", last April 26 to address the prevailing inequality and disparity in income levels of the different regions in the country.
"Minimum wage earners outside Metro Manila may consider working in their respective localities since the minimum wage in their locations is the same with that of Metro Manila," the lawmakers said in the bill's explanatory note.
"This will somehow reduce the growth of human population in Manila, which happens to be the most preferred working location because of higher minimum wage, not to mention the availability of job opportunities," they added.
The bill seeks to limit the power of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to determine incomes and other productivity improvements on top of the national minimum wage.
"Their duty will primarily involve determining other incomes of the employees outside of the minimum set by this law. These incomes and other productivity improvements shall be used to augment the daily minimum wage based on prevailing conditions," legislators said.
The bill also proposes additional incentives, which shall be determined by the Board, to be given to wage earners on top of the minimum wage.
The lawmakers said the bill aims to help Filipinos keep up with the inflation and guarantee a "humane standard living for all", especially to the lowest and unprotected members of the workforce, by providing them "real wage gains."
"On a national scale, it aims to bolster the economy by providing a decent living wage for low-income workers, resulting to dynamic economic activity and to reduction of government welfare spending caused by reduced dependence to the income-support programs of the government," they said.
Source: Philippine News Agency