Party-list reps say minimum wage hike should consider pandemic-hit businesses

 Party-list reps say minimum wage hike should consider pandemic-hit businesses

REPRESENTATIVES of two party-lists seeking reelection in May expressed support to calls for a minimum wage increase, but said the rate should take into consideration that businesses are also recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette R. Herrera-Dy and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred C. delos Santos, speaking in an online forum on Wednesday, said a “balancing act” is necessary on the interests of both workers and employers.  

“While of course, I believe that the minimum wage should be increased, we should also consider the situation of the companies that are opening just now because of the pandemic,” Ms. Herrera-Dy said in Filipino. 

Mr. Delos Santos, for his part, said Congress should take up pending bills on minimum wage, including those that aim to address the gap between rates in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country.  

“I believe it’s really time we take up minimum wage in Congress,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino. “We should consider what kind of entrepreneurs they are… Should it (minimum wage) be the same (for everyone)? Should the minimum wage in a grocery store be the same as a big mall? So, we should consider all of these and review all the factors involved.” 

In a hearing at the House of Representatives earlier this month, finance and economic development officials rejected calls for a uniform wage across regions, saying that it will worsen inequality. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan