Salvador B. Belaro, Jr., House Assistant Majority Leader and 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list representative, called for reforms in the country’s minimum wage policy during the House Committee on Economic Affairs’ public hearing on the said policy on Friday, July 14, 2017.
“We can achieve more with minimum wage reform through positive discipline, cooperation, and consensus than the tedious incremental process of this regional wage board system,” Belaro said in a statement. “Let us put in place cooperation and consensus, which are more productive than class struggle and conflict.”
Belaro said companies should apply positive discipline to realize they have more to gain by voluntarily complying with the law instead of having inspectors checking up on them.
“With positive discipline, businesses should not have to resort to bribing inspectors or denying their employees their rightful wages,” according to the congressman.
Belaro said the latest round of wage board hearings with the National Capital Region Wage Board will have predictable results.
“Most likely, either of two things will happen at the end of the process: part of or all of the current cost of living allowance will be transferred to basic wage or the COLA will be increased but the basic wage will stay the same,” said Belaro.
He said it would be unfair to deny a breadwinner a decent wage but it would also be unfair to force the employer to pay for the wage of two persons when only one person is doing the work.
“Simply put, it takes two minimum wage breadwinners to give their household an income that would be just enough to barely make ends meet these days. Three wage earners would give poor households the boost out of poverty and into the middle class,” Belaro said.
Belaro added: “Largely forgotten whenever the minimum wage issue is tackled are the middle class. The middle class also have hardships. They and the OFWs are the backbone of our country’s economy. They stand most to gain from the comprehensive tax reform nearing realization.”