Raising wages is good for workers, economy: Solon

MANILA A legislator on Friday defended the proposal to increase the national minimum wage to PHP750, saying it is "good for the working people and for the economy as whole".

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said the nationwide wage hike would spur more production and create jobs.

Zarate also slammed claims that the wage hike is inflationary as "anti-workers, unjust, and erroneous ."

It is blatantly anti-worker and unjust to deny wage hikes because of the allegations that it will jack up prices. On the contrary, prices have already been increasing for years but wages are stuck at some PHP500 in Metro Manila and worse PHP300 plus in many provinces even if the cost of living already skyrocketed to PHP1,200 for a family of six," Zarate said.

He said the PHP750 national minimum wage is meant to recover the "eroded purchasing power" or Filipino workers due to the soaring prices caused by the tax reform law and other factors.

It is erroneous to insist that nationwide wage hikes are inflationary. Increases in wages will lead to decrease in profits of capitalist but won't affect the basis of price which is the average labor time embodies in commodities," said Zarate.

Nationwide wages hikes may temporarily affect the prices of some commodities because of the increased purchasing power of workers and employees but this will be very temporary as profit-motivated capitalists will move to increase their production to meet the increased demands. Sooner than later, supply will be at par or may even exceed demands," he added.

Lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives earlier this week filed a bill seeking to set a national minimum wage of PHP750 daily to help Filipino workers cope with the price shocks caused by the tax reform law and other factors.

Members of the Makabayan bloc include Zarate, Gabriela Reps. Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teacher Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency