Ilocos employers say no to P750 national wage
DAGUPAN CITY — Arguing that micro and small businesses would be unable to cope, the employers’ group in the Ilocos region on Tuesday opposed a House measure seeking a national minimum wage of P750.
Salvador Poserio, president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) North Luzon chapter, said small and medium enterprises made up 98 percent of all business ventures in the region.
He said the P750 minimum wage proposed in House Bill No. 7787 would force these businesses to close.
“About 70 percent of the workforce in the Ilocos region are employed by micro and small businesses [and] will just end up losing their jobs,” he added.
The bill, sponsored by the Makabayan bloc of party-list groups, also seeks to abolish regional wage boards which set wages based on the prevailing economic condition of the localities.
“Employers, like us, know the economic indicators here in the region. So, we know what is best for the region,” said Poserio.
“Even if we wanted to give a P500 minimum wage in the region, we simply could not because it would result in more unemployment because many businesses would close,” Poserio said.
In January, the regional tripartite wages and productivity board approved a minimum wage of P310 for the Ilocos region, P30 higher than the P280 it approved last year. —Gabriel Cardinoza
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