Wage board to decide on pay hike appeal next week-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 7 will meet again on Oct. 25 to decide on the petitions filed by the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) and the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), which sought a wage increase of P90 and P121.80, respectively.
Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 Director Gloria Tango, also chairperson of RTWPB 7, said they will review all documents submitted by both labor and employers’ representatives and their testimonies during the public hearing held in Sarrosa Hotel last Oct. 16.
“We have to consider all the inputs submitted by both labor and management so we can come up with a decision that is acceptable to both parties,” Tango said.
RTWPB is composed of Tango, the regional directors of the National Economic Development Authority 7 and the Department of Trade and Industry 7, businessmen Charles Streegan and Hedelito Pascual representing management, and Jose Tomungha and lawyer Ernesto Carreon representing the labor sector.
As this developed, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) submitted to RTWPB 7 their joint position paper explaining why they don’t want a wage increase this year.
The joint position paper signed by CCCI President Prudencio Gesta, MCCI President Philip Tan, ECOP President Jose Ng and HRRAC President Johhanes Hauri reiterated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be affected by an untimely wage increase.
They said that SMEs, which account for more than 90 percent of the enterprises in the Philippines and provide more than 60 percent of the jobs in the country, have less capacity to afford an increase of minimum wages with the present economic conditions, such as the rising cost of utilities and global competition.
PhilExport Cebu, which represents nine export sectors, has asked RTWPB 7 for an exemption if there is an increase in wages this year.
“We, the exporters, appeal for a wage freeze for the export sector until such time when the recovery in the sector is imminent and sustainable,” read Philexport’s position paper.
But Art Barrit of ALU and Boboy Belarmino of APL wondered why the business sector always announces positive economic growth, but is quick to cite the economic crisis when workers ask for a wage increase.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.