Press Release
May 1, 2023

Pimentel backs proposed legislated wage hike

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said on Labor Day that it is about time that Congress enacts a legislated wage hike as he threw his support behind a slew of proposed legislation at the Upper Chamber seeking to raise the minimum wage hike in the country.

This as the Senate chief fiscalizer advised the government to go beyond holding job fairs and distributing ayuda (assistance) during Labor Day.

"I think we need to be more imaginative now in responding to the needs of our labor sector given the new reality that life is very difficult nowadays," Pimentel said in an interview with CNN's The Source on Monday.

"Job fairs and ayuda are regular programs of the government," Pimentel said.

"The government should express support for legislated wage hikes," he said.

"Sa tingin ko, kailangan na. It is about time to review the amounts. The legislated minimum wage can live side-by-side with our decentralized wage system," Pimentel stressed.

The country has wage boards across all regions that set the minimum wage in every region.

However, Pimentel noted the need to consider the economic and business implications of the legislated wage hike.

"We have to balance the interest of the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), which could not afford the mandatory wage hike, with the needs of our workers," he said.

There are about 21 pending measures in the Senate calling for wage increase.

"If passed, this move will improve the lives of millions of workers who are struggling to make ends meet on their current wages," Pimentel said in a statement.

"We must ensure that Filipinos are paid a fair wage hike for their work so they can put food on the table and provide a better future for their families," according to Pimentel in a separate statement.

Pimentel said the increase is long overdue.

"There is no way a family of five can live a decent life with the current minimum wage of P570 in Metro Manila," he said.

"Life is also hard outside Metro Manila. We need to do something to improve the standard of living and the quality of life of our countrymen," Pimentel said.

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