MANILA — Senate President Miguel Zubiri has filed a bill seeking to increase the daily wage of private sector employees by P150 to cushion the impact of rising inflation.
In February, inflation eased slightly to 8.6 percent from a 14-year high of 8.7 percent in the previous month.
"Kailangan natin bigyan ang ating mga manggagawa ng tinatawag nating living wage. Hindi naman minimum wage because the minimum wage is not a living wage," Zubiri told ANC's "Headstart" Wednesday.
"We also have to share. We have to share the blessings."
Zubir earlier raised the one-time inflation assistance for Senate employees to P50,000.
Metro Manila currently has the highest daily minimum wage of P570 while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region has the lowest at P316.
In his explanatory note of Senate Bill 2002 or Across the Board Wage Increase Act of 2023, Zubiri said a family in the capital region would now need a daily living wage of P1,161.
This is almost double than the highest pay received by a minimum wage worker in NCR, he added.
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines has said raising the daily minimum wage would reduce employment and increase prices.
The group also said only up to 16 percent of private sector employees may benefit from this to the detriment of the remaining 84 percent.
Majority of establishments operating in the country are micro, small and medium enterprises.
But Zubiri argued that the low wages had led to the diaspora of Filipino workers, which he said is about 12 million.
"We don't pay decent wage. If we don't address that, we will have a brain drain. Mawawalan tayo ng workers," he said.
In the lower house, the Makabayan bloc also filed a similar bill pushing for a P750 across-the-board increase in the daily wages of private sector workers.