Manila Bulletin : Marcos vows to increase workers’ wage, but there's a catch

5 March 2022

By Joseph Pedrajas | Manila Bulletin

Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday, March 5 promised workers that they will get wage increase if he wins in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Marcos Jr. said he will make the wage hike possible by pushing measures that will lead to the recovery of the economy, which had been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But his promise came with a caveat: He said he will not pursue it just yet since any major wage hike at this time might trigger a pushback from businessmen, who are still trying to get back on their feet.

“Alam natin ang pangangailangan ng sektor ng paggawa na kailangan ding taasan ang sahod pero dahil nga hindi pa tayo nakakabangon mula sa pandemya ay siguraduhin muna nating pasiglahin ang kalakalan (We know the need of the labor sector. They need to have a wage increase. But because we haven’t recovered from the pandemic yet, we will have to ensure first that the trade industry will get back on its feet),” Marcos Jr. said.

“Tiyakin muna natin ang pagbubukas ng mga kumpanya at ang pagbabalik sa trabaho ng ating mga kababayan. Mula sa ganung konsepto ay titiyakin natin ang kaluwagan at pagbibigay ng maaaring mga benepisyo sa ating mga manggagawa (Let’s ensure the reopening of the companies and the reemployment of the displaced workers. From there, we can make sure that they will eventually get relief and more benefits),” he added.

The Ilocano presidential aspirant stressed that economic growth is driven by consumer spending and business investment.

So, he said, “It is, therefore, necessary for people to have jobs to be able to spend and pump up the economy.”

“Kahit nakikita na natin ang unti-unting pagbangon ay kailangan pa ding patatagin muna ang kalakalan at iyan ang ating pagsisikapang gawin (While we see the eventual recovery of the businesses, we still have to strengthen the trade industry. And that’s what we will try to do),” Marcos said.

Marcos said micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be the backbone of his economic program, which is part of the platforms he occasionally delivers during his campaign rallies.

“Parang may domino effect ang pag-unlad. Kailangan nating ibangon ‘yung mga sektor na bubuhay sa ekonomiya at susunod na ang lahat (Progress has domino effects. We need to help the sector that will help revive the economy and everything else will soon follow),” he said.