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Press Release - Wage increase will not bust the economy - Chiz

If some self-proclaimed business leaders had their way, wages would have remained the same for the last 40 years as they have not in one instance supported any move to raise workers' pay, Sen. Chiz Escudero said.

Joining them, Escudero said, "are ivory tower individuals who love to preach about the economics of a running business when they themselves have not even managed a sari-sari store."

Whenever talks on raising the minimum wage begin, whether in Congress or in wage boards, the veteran legislator noted "these are always met with the shrill warnings of these individuals that the economy will go bust if we give workers their due."

"Tuwina na lang pag may diskusyon sa wage increase, maglalabas na ang mga iyan ng kanilang crystal ball at tatakutin tayo na babagsak ang ekonomiya," Escudero said, adding that after the round of wage hikes have been implemented, "hindi naman gumuho ang lupa and the sky is still up there and has not fallen."

Escudero also scored the contrasting reception that tax breaks for business and wage hike for workers receive. "They taut the steep cut in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rates for business, saving them billions, as an economic necessity, while they treat a wage increase of a few pesos for workers, as if it were economic sabotage," he said.

In 2021, projected foregone revenues "lavishly given to the moneyed class was almost P139 billion, and they called it a form of economic stimuli, for the wealthy who did not ask for it."

Escudero recalled proponents of tax breaks for the rich of having argued that profits retained as a result of the lowering of the CIT will be used to retain payroll, or boost pay.

"Sabi nila, manggagawa daw ang unang makakatikim ng dibidendo sa mga natipid na buwis. Na sa halip na sa BIR mapupunta, sa bulsa ng manggagawa mapupunta," he said. "Nangyari ba ito? Nasaan ang plowbacks? Regardless, I am holding them to their promise. Support a wage hike which remains as the best profit-sharing scheme, that will benefit those who made earnings possible, not some shareholder from a distant land."

According to the senator, labor groups have presented data which showed that for large firms who have racked up P1.1 trillion