The 125 Pesos wage increase
Finally, after years of pushing the 125 pesos wage increase. Congress has finally passed and approved it. The 125 pesos increase is split into three years. 45 pesos on the first year and 40 pesos on the second and third year retroactive October 1, 2006. But as expected, business leaders are strongly against the proposal, threatening massive layoffs from business closing up due to the wage increase and prices of basic commodities increasing to cover the additional labor cost. The law has already been passed to the senate pending approval but analyst say it will face an uphill struggle to be passed.
I do understand the need for a wage increase due to the rising cost of basic goods and services which has been rising even if our peso to dollar exchange rate is already at 48 pesos to a dollar level. It is not felt by the public. Although jeepney fares has gone down 50 centavos. Most workers through out the Philippines are not even given minimum wage, so even if there is an increase, majority of our industry will not be affected since they will not be given an increase by their employers if they cant even provide minimum wage.
I suggest that a compromise between workers and business leaders will be best for all. For example, while I do not agree in lowering the 125 pesos wage increase, spreading it over a longer period of time will help business better adjust. Instead of the proposed 3 years, spread it over a period of 4 to 5 years. I hope the senate come up with a proposal where everybody walks away happy.