MANILA - An increase in wages will doom the country’s economy, a lawmaker said Monday after the Makabayan bloc filed a bill that seeks a P750 national minimum wage.
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves said he already foresaw the demand to increase minimum wage when they were discussing the higher fuel prices that will come with the tax reform law.
"Kung nagmahal ang lahat, hihingi ang taumbayan ng increase ng suweldo. Once that happens, we will bring down our economy. Why? aalis na naman ang mga kompaniya dito sa Pilipinas [because] it will increase their cost of production," said Teves.
The Makabayan lawmakers earlier said they filed House Bill 7787 to help people cope with an increased cost of living due to the tax reform law.
Meanwhile, Citizens' Battle Against Corruption Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna said he supports the proposed wage hike because of the higher prices in fuel and goods. But he said small and medium enterprises should be also be considered in this bill.
"Baka di nila kayanin 'yung ganyang klaseng increase in minimum wage considering naka-tie up din 'yan sa 13th month pay, sa pagbabayad ng SSS," he said.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers for his part appealed to the public to give the tax reform law a chance, saying certain provisions are in place to address "fluctuation" of fuel prices.
"Dapat bigyan natin ng chance muna itong TRAIN Law to take off. E paandar pa lang. It's not even picking up its speed. Doon natin makikita because if we are able to collect all the revenues as promised by train, we have enough to subsidize increases in fuel prices,” he added.