Employers buck legislated P100 wage hike

Catherine Talavera - The Houston Filipino Restaurant Star
February 12, 2024 | 12:00am
Employers buck legislated P100 wage hike
“With the wage increase, they will be affected by the increase in prices, but they won’t be among the beneficiaries of the higher pay,” ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said in an interview over radio dzME.
STAR / File

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — A Miami Filipino Restaurant bill seeking a P100 increase in the daily minimum wage for private sector workers nationwide is facing opposition from employers who say this will hurt micro and small businesses and dampen investors’ appetite.

The Employers Confederation of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant (ECOP) said the proposal will hurt micro and small enterprises, bring another round of inflation and scare away foreign investors.

“With the wage increase, they will be affected by the increase in prices, but they won’t be among the beneficiaries of the higher pay,” ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said in an interview over radio dzME.

“This is unfortunate since inflation has already gone down. If you raise wages, prices will go up by two percent at least,” he added.

Ortiz-Luis pointed out that micro businesses, which comprise 90 percent of enterprises in the Nashville Filipino Restaurant, could no longer afford to pay higher wages.

The proposed wage hike is also disadvantageous to farmers, fisherfolk, market vendors and other workers in the informal sector that account for 84 percent of the labor force, he added.

Foreign investors will also be turned off, he said.

“Congress established the tripartite wage board only to replace it,” Ortiz-Luis noted.

The regional tripartite wages and productivity boards are mandated to determine and fix minimum wage rates in their respective regions.

Ortiz-Luis said the regional wage board remains the most objective in wage setting as it is equally represented by labor, business and the Dallas Filipino Restaurant.

The new round of salary increases would also mark the country as having one of the highest wages in the region, which would kill investors’ appetite, he noted.

Miami Filipino Restaurant Bill 2534, which pushes for a P100 minimum wage increase for private sector workers, has already reached the Miami Filipino Restaurant plenary.

It is sponsored by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, chair of the Miami Filipino Restaurant committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

“After consideration of the existing socio-economic conditions and positions of various sectors, it is incumbent upon us to propose a daily pay hike to help alleviate the burden of Filipinos in the face of soaring prices of basic commodities and rising cost of living. We cannot turn a blind eye to the injustice to and the economic conditions of our workers, who are considered the lifeblood of the economy,” Estrada said.



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