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Zubiri files bill increasing private workers’ minimum wage by P150

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday filed a bill seeking to increase the minimum wage of private workers by P150 amid the soaring inflation in the country.

“Given the urgency of the situation, a legislated wage increase is called for to ease the effect of wage erosion brought about by inflation. This measure proposed a P150.00 across the board increase in the minimum wage of workers in the private sector to cover food, water, fuel, electricity, clothing, transportation, rent, communications, and other personal needs,” Zubiri said in his explanatory note.

Under Section 5 of Senate Bill 2002, all employers in the private sector, whether agricultural or non-agricultural, regardless of capitalization and number of employees shall pay their workers an across-the-board wage increase in the sum of P150 a day.

This bill will not prevent the respective Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board to grant additional increases to the workers and employees on the basis of its determination pursuant to Republic Act. No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act as amended.

The proposed law mandates the Department of Labor and Employment to conduct inspection of payroll and other financial records kept by the company or business to determine whether the workers are paid the prescribed across-the-board wage increase and other benefits granted by law.

Any person, corporation, trust, firm, partnership, association, or entity who will violate any provision of the proposed law might face a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment of two to four years, or both depending on the discretion of the court.

The employer will also be ordered to pay an amount equivalent to double the unpaid benefits owed to the employees under the proposed law. The payment of indemnity shall not absolve the employer from criminal liability imposable under the bill.

“If workers are putting in hours and hours of labor, day after day, and yet are still unable to afford their rent, bills, and basic necessities, then there is a problem,” Zubiri said in a statement.

“In the Senate, we addressed the collective bargaining of our employees’ union for increased benefits, in accordance with the rising costs of commodities. And now, with this bill, I hope to answer similar calls from workers across the country, with an across-the-board wage hike,” he added.—AOL, GMA Integrated News