TUCP welcomes Palace endorsement of legislated wage increase

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today welcomed reports that Malacañang is willing to support the passage of a legislated wage increase to enable workers cope with price adjustments brought by the new VAT law and high petroleum prices.

The TUCP also proposed that on top of the wage increase Congress should also pass a law that will exempt minimum wage earners and other low-salaried workers from paying withholding taxes.

The TUCP said that the announcement of Malacañang should be a signal to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to come up with an appropriate amount of wage increase and submit it to Congress for consideration.

TUCP said that Congress in crafting the wage bill should take into account the current inflation rate, the consumer price index, and the need to improve living standards of Filipino working families, and the high inequity in wealth and income distribution in the Philippines, among other things.

“We hope that the endorsement of Malacañang will usher in serious discussions in the House of Representatives and the Senate on the issue of providing workers and their families decent lives through decent wages”, TUCP said.

Earlier TUCP expressed doubts on the current P125 wage bill pending before Congress being pushed by Bayan Muna.

“While we appreciate efforts to improve working conditions, we should exercise caution in making proposals not only to protect industries and businesses but more importantly to ensure the viability of jobs in the country”, TUCP said

“The P125 proposal, or an increase of more than P3,000 a month, will do more harm than good as it will only cause displacement of workers”, TUCP added

TUCP said that it will come up with its own studies to take into account current data including the effects of the new VAT law, increases brought by high petroleum prices, and the capacity of industries and the economy in general, to absorb wage adjustments.

“Off-hand, we will welcome any proposal to increase wages by no less than P70”, TUCP said.

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