Bong Go pushes for P100 minimum wage increase to aid indigent Filipinos

BOAC, Marinduque — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, co-author and co-sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2534, which aims to raise the daily minimum wage by P100 across the country, stressed that the increase would benefit the poor and the hungry amid the rising prices of goods.

In an ambush interview on Wednesday, February 21, after attending the celebrations of the 104th Founding Anniversary of Marinduque, Go explained that the bill which was passed on third and final reading in the Senate early this week, still remains a proposal until it is passed by the lower house and approved by the President.

Go expressed hopes that fellow lawmakers and the government as a whole would support the measure to help uplift the plight of the poor. He also called on wealthier segments of society to support the measure to assist ordinary workers, particularly those living in precarious financial situations.

“Ako naman, kung magiging batas po ito, nananawagan po ako sa mga mayayaman. Kung hindi naman po kayo malulugi, ipamahagi n’yo naman po ang kaunting tulong sa inyong kita dahil ang makikinabang dito ay ‘yung mga isang kahig isang tuka, ‘yung mga kababayan nating bawat piso ay napakahalaga sa kanila,” urged Go.

“Laman po ng tiyan ng bawat Pilipino ‘yan. Sikapin nating walang magutom,” he added.

Go, a member of the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment as well as the Committee on Social Justice, mentioned that the P100 wage hike would help workers cope with current economic conditions and the increasing cost of living due to various factors such as inflation.

The senator emphasized the critical need to find a middle ground that supports both businesses and their employees amidst the nation’s economic challenges.

“Kaya I’m appealing, we have to strike a balance between businesses and employees. But, sa pagtataas ng presyo ng bilihin sa ngayon, bawat piso, bawat sentimo ay napakahalaga po sa ordinaryong workers natin. So, ibigay po natin sa kanila ang nararapat para mabuhay ng matiwasay,” he urged.

While pushing for the proposed wage hike, Go also clarified that government must continue to support employers especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that provide employment opportunities to the country in order to ensure that both employer and employee welfare are upheld.

SBN 2534, principally sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, seeks to amend Republic Act No. 6727, or the Wage Rationalization Act, which created the regional wage boards determining the minimum wage rates in different regions.

“I commend the good sponsor, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, and our Senate President, Juan Miguel Zubiri, for their relentless drive in helping our ordinary Filipino workers,” Go earlier remarked. Zubiri is the principal author of the measure.

The bill proposes to increase the daily minimum wage by P100, regardless of the existing wage rates in the regions. The minimum wage per day in the National Capital Region, the highest across the Philippines, is currently set at P610.

The legislation seeks to offer a fair and enduring approach to addressing wage disparities nationwide. It also seeks to comply with the constitutional mandate to enhance the living standards of the average Filipino, with a particular focus on those in the working class.

“Dapat po talaga ay may maayos na pasahod sa mga ordinaryong mangagawang Pilipino. It is the goal of this measure to provide for a living wage that allows our Filipino workers to earn enough income for a satisfactory standard of living and prevent them from falling into poverty,” Go earlier stated, reinforcing the bill’s intention to create a more equitable economic environment for all Filipinos.

To end, Go reaffirmed his dedication to advancing the rights and welfare of Filipino workers, promising to continue supporting legislation that benefits this vital segment of society.

“Ako po ay patuloy na makikiisa sa bawat panukalang ating ihahain upang pagtibayin ang kapakanan at karapatan ng ating manggagawang Pilipino,” he concluded. —

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