Congress must recognize overwhelming support to HB 375 – solon

ANAKPAWIS Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano said the overwhelming support of workers for House Bill 375 or the P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers in the private sector is a strong indication that the House Leadership must consider the legislation of the proposed bill that will benefit and give immediate economic relief to thousands of workers and their families. ”

Mariano urged the Committee on Labor and Employment to come up with a Committee Report on HB 375 after the Luzon-wide hearing.

“Congress only has nine session days left before the start of the 2013 electoral campaign period on February 12, 2013. We appeal to House Speaker Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to give priority to the wage hike bill.”

“For the past twelve years, Filipino workers have justified the need and significance of a legislated wage increase. They have also debunked alibis of employers resisting any wage increase. The legislation of HB 375 is now a matter of giving social justice to our workers,” said Mariano.

The House Committee on Labor and Employment called for a Luzon-wide public consultation on HB 375 in Benguet. In attendance are workers and labor leaders from Benguet, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and National Capital Region. National labor federations and workers unions also expressed their support for the urgent passage of HB 375. The Committee previously held public consultations in Manila, Tacloban City in Visayas and Davao City in Mindanao on the P125 wage hike bill.

“A legislated wage increase is long overdue. Our workers have suffered and waited long enough. The P125 wage hike bill has been pending in the Lower House since 2001. It is high time that Congress discuss the bill in the plenary and approve it before the end of the 15th Congress,” said Mariano, principal author of HB 375.

“Even the International Labor Organization (ILO) recognizes the urgent need for a significant wage hike. According to ILO’s Global Wage Report 2012/13, growth of real wages in developing countries has remained below the level before the eruption of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008,” Mariano said.
Based on a study by ILO in 72 developing countries in 2012, the Philippines is among the countries with lowest average monthy wages, next to Tajikistan and Pakistan.

“Instead of heeding the workers’ strong clamor for a significant wage increase, the Aquino government through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) implemented the 2-Tiered Wage System that only further depress wage levels in the country,” Mariano said.

“Workers are the prime movers of the national economy and social production. The government is duty-bound to give its workers their just share in the social wealth through the passage of HB 375,” the solon concluded.

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