House committe report on P125 Wage Hike Bill hailed

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno lauded the House Committee on Labor and Employment today for releasing the committee report on a bill that seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, saying the report’s release is a step forward for the workers’ struggle for a significant wage increase.

A copy of COLE Report No. 2703, which recommends House Bill 375 or the P125 Wage Hike Bill for approval without amendment, was received by the office of Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano, the bill’s main sponsor, last Monday.

“This is a step forward for the workers’ struggle for a significant wage hike. This is a victory of the country’s workers and poor who have launched various forms of mass actions for a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“We are glad that the House COLE continues to heed the workers’ clamor for a significant wage hike, which will give workers immediate relief from the soaring prices of basic goods and services. We hope that they continue to do so,” he said.

“We are calling on the country’s legislators to defy Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s Cheap Labor Policy. This policy has failed to create sufficient jobs in the country and has only caused greater poverty and suffering for the country’s workers and poor,” he added.

Under new rules approved by the outgoing 15th Congress, bills that have been passed at the committee level will be considered approved at that level and will not start from square one when the 16th Congress opens.

“We are calling on the country’s senators to do their part in pushing for the P125 Wage Hike Bill’s passage. Promises that they will act swiftly once Congress approves the bill will not suffice,” Labog said.

“Those who are in favor of a significant wage hike should stand up and show unity on this issue. Pres. Aquino and big capitalists are vocal in stating their opposition and showing their unity against the much-needed measure,” he added.

Last April 2011, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla filed Senate Bill 1981 seeking to implement a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide in installments for three years: P45 in the first year, P40 in the second year, and P40 in the third year.

“We vow to intensify our protests for a significant wage hike in the build-up to this year’s Labor Day and after. Even in the US, there is a recognition that workers’ minimum wages have been stunted for decades,” Labog said.

In his State of the Union Speech last Feb. 12, US Pres. Barack Obama called for an increase in the country’s minimum wage by an amount which his government claims to be the highest since the early 1980s.

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