Wage increase is necessary for national economic development

Reference: J de Lima
Chairperson NDFP RWC-SER | Press statement

NDFP Reciprocal Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms Chair Julie de Lima

The popular demand of workers for increase in the national minimum wage is just and necessary. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) should heed the call. “An across-the-board national wage increase is beneficial not only to the country’s work force but also for the comprehensive development of the national economy to benefit the entire people,” says Julie de Lima, chairperson of the Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (RWC-SER).

“The GRP should immediately respond to the wage increase demand to increase the purchasing power of the people, enliven the domestic market and encourage production.” Labor groups are demanding for an urgent national minimum wage increase ranging from Php750-Php800 daily to counter the burdening effects of TRAIN and the successive oil price hikes. “The GRP’s response to thecalls for a wage increase is long overdue. A significant wage increase would help to jumpstart national economic development that benefits the entire Philippine populace, including small, medium and big business, as we envision in the NDFP Draft CASER.”

“All the alibis of big businesses and the NEDA threatening massive job loss and company closures if wage hike for workers is implemented have been debunked decades ago. It is high time that the GRP seriously consider implementing significant minimum wage increase to bridge the gap between workers’ depressed wages and the sky-rocketing cost of living,” De Lima said.

“We are not simply talking about economic relief here. Prices of basic utilities, food stuff, fares and services have incessantly gone up. Workers and employees’ purchasing power has severely weakened, and the real value of the Philippine Peso has been eroded many times over.” “Keeping the workers’ wages low has worked to the detriment not only of the working masses but also to the stagnation of the entire Philippine economy in the mire of semifeudal and semicolonial existence,” De Lima said.

Wage increase and other benefits for Filipino workers is part of the NDFP’s Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) draft under the section Rights of the Working People. They will help to create a conducive environment for the resumption of the formal peace negotiations that will discuss, and agree on the entirety of CASER. ###