‘Business, labor sectors must compromise on wages’
Business and the workers sector in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas are encouraged to “compromise” in order to strike a balance on the proposed wage increase.
Rep. Mark Villar, vice chairman of the House’s Labor committee, made the call last Friday to both parties at the sidelines of the Philippine Councilors League convention where the Las Pinas City congressman was a speaker.
He said it couldn’t be avoided that the two sectors would clash on the issue of raising minimum wages because both have interests to protect.
But it can’t be denied that inflation was prevalent and the prices of commodities continued to increase, he said.
“I’m open to a wage hike. You just have to discuss it first but there should be a compromise, first,” he said.
Villar said he agreed that wage discussions per region were better than proposals for a national legislated wage increase because every region had different circumstance.
He said that no formal proposal to abolish the RTWPBs (Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards) has also been raised in Congress.
Two petitions for a minimum wage increase are pending before RTWPB of Central Visayas.
One is the P90 increase being proposed by the Associated Labor Union (ALU) and a P121.80 increase proposed by the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL).
Businessmen warned of repercussions especially on small and medium scale enterprises.
In a joint position paper, CCCI president Prudencio Gesta, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip Tan, ECOP president Jose Ng and HRRAC president Johhanes Hauri said that SMEs make up 90 percent of businesses in the country and that more than 60 percent of these enterprises cant afford another increase in the minimum wage because of present economic conditions, the high cost of utilities, and competition.
Wage board members are expected to convene on Oct. 25 to deliberate on the petitions.
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