June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Solon: House wants higher hike for minimum wage, but seeks balance with struggling SMEs

HOUSE Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo 2nd District Rep. Janette Garin on Thursday said that the House of Representatives is eyeing a higher increase in the daily minimum wage from the P100 espoused by the Senate for workers in the private sector, but lawmakers seek to balance the interests between that of workers and small businesses.

Garin also said that the Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP), which some senators are heavily criticizing, would also greatly help in augmenting the wages of Filipino workers while Congress deliberates on the legislated wage hike.

She congratulated the Senate for passing on second reading a measure that calls for a P100 increase in the daily minimum wage, but said the amount seems to fall short of the actual needs of Filipino workers.

“Naipasa nila ‘yung P100 wage hike. Iyan nga ay patuloy na dini-delibarate dito sa Kongreso kasi maganda ang intensyon. Pero parang mababa ‘yung P100. Kasi sa mahal ng mga bilihin ngayon, parang

hindi siya sang-ayon sa pangangailangan ng taumbayan,” Garin said in a press conference in the House of Representatives.

She clarified that the House is not against any efforts to enact a legislated wage hike for minimum wage earners in the private sector. In fact, she said, they are currently deliberating many measures calling for such.

But Garin said lawmakers have to balance the interests of workers and private companies alike, especially those from micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs that comprise over 90% of all business in the country and employs millions of Filipinos.

“Mas mabuti sana kung dapat mas mataas ‘yun kagaya nga ng masinsinang inaaral ng Kongreso. Subalit andun din kase yung balance. Kaya nga Congress was actually looking into the possibility of a P350 wage hike. At matagal na po yan nakabinbin at sa katotohanan lang e talagang ‘yung liderato ng Kongreso ay medyo pinu-push sana ito,” she said.

“Pero andun kase ‘yung balance. Magandang gumawa ng batas pero mahirap magpaasa kung walang pag-asa. Kasi pag tinaas natin ‘yung sweldo, dapat ‘yung kaya ng ating mga negosyante, e sa Pilipinas, 98 to 99 percent of the business sector are MSMEs,” she added.

Important questions should be asked, said the Iloilo lawmaker, to find out if there will be serious repercussions on passing a legislated wage hike.

“Hindi ba ito magiging cause ng pagsara ng negosyo ng karamihan? Marami ang hindi nagsasabi nito pero ano ba ‘yung katotohanan post-pandemic? Globally, sa buong mundo, hindi lamang po yan sa Pilipinas, 30 to 40 percent ng income, gross income ng bawat negosyante ay nabawasan. Bakit?” She asked.

“Maganda ang intensiyon nito pero yung implementation is one big question. Ang takot natin, baka yung sampung empleyado ay maging pito na lang. ‘Yun yong medyo dapat nating ibalanse,” she added