THE FEDERATION of Free Workers (FFW) on Sunday reiterated its support to the proposed across-the-board minimum wage hike for private sector workers, saying it would attract more investments to the country and increase economic activity.
“Investors are drawn to countries or regions where workers have decent wages, as it signifies a stable and growing consumer base,” the labor federation said in a statement.
“Such countries are viewed as favorable investment destinations due to the potential for increased sales and profitability.”
FFW backed Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri’s Senate Bill 2002, which calls for a national minimum wage hike of P150 for all private sector workers, including those in the agricultural industry.
The Employer’s Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) earlier said the proposal would only benefit a small part of the workforce, citing that only about 16% of workers are employed in private companies.
ECoP President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. has said lawmakers need to consult with economic managers before passing the measure as well as consider workers in less formal types of employment.
“The argument fails to consider the broader economic effects and undermines the crucial role of fair wages in driving sustainable growth,” FFW said, commenting on ECoP’s position.
“Contrary to their claims, raising wages will have a significant positive impact on the economy and the majority of Filipino workers.”
Wage adjustments in the Philippines are approved by Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards.
In March, the group Unity for Wage Increase Now! filed a petition to raise the P570 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila to P1,100. The capital region’s wage board approved a P33 minimum wage hike in June 2022.
“Therefore, it is crucial for policymakers and businesses to recognize that investing in workers through higher wages yields significant long-term benefits,” the FFW said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez