Pimentel on wage hike in NCR: ‘Paano naman ang taga-probinsiya?’

FOLLOWING the approval of a P40 increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III called on other regional wage boards across the country to follow suit and implement reasonable wage adjustments.

“I earnestly call upon the wage boards to establish minimum wages that not only uphold fairness for our dedicated workers but also empower them to live a life of dignity,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel issued the statement on Friday as he lamented the very low minimum wages in several regions.

Pimentel emphasized “the urgency of reviewing and reassessing current wage rates to ensure they are both reasonable and realistic for workers across all provinces.”

“Today’s minimum wage rates across the country are unacceptable,” Pimentel said. “To increase our wage rates in every corner of the nation today is a matter of social justice given the prevailing challenges of inflation and its adverse effects on purchasing power.”

With the P40 increase in NCR, the minimum wage rate in the region now stands at P610 per day.

Citing data from the National Wages and Productivity Commission, Pimentel drew attention to the very low minimum wages in nearby regions such as the P460 minimum wage for the non-agricultural sector and P430 for agricultural workers in Region III and P470 and P429 for non-agricultural workers and agricultural workers in Calabarzon, respectively.

“It is essential that these boards consider the economic realities faced by workers in their respective regions and take appropriate steps to help our countrymen who struggle to make ends meet,” Pimentel said.

Even in rural areas, residents are experiencing the impact of rising prices, including more expensive gas and electricity bills, he added.

“Paano naman sila? Paano naman ang mga kababayan natin sa probinsiya na kailangan ding kumain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?” Hindi naman pwedeng ‘altanghap’ na lang forever,” said Pimentel. Altanghap, short for almusal, tanghalian and hapunan, refers to the single meal that the poorest Filipinos could afford to eat.

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