Business group mulls plan to contest new Wage Order

LOCAL business group Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is still considering the plan to contest the new Wage Order that will take effect starting November 27 this year, its official said.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of MBCCI, Wednesday, November 13, told SunStar Bacolod that the chamber’s executive committee has yet to sit down and decide either today or tomorrow.

Wage Order No. 25 that provides P15 to P30 daily pay hike for private sector workers in Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, was published on Monday, November 11.

The business group, if ever, may file its opposition 10 days after the publication.

Carbon stressed that their proposal was to categorize the employers based on their capacity to pay.

“The possibility to question the Wage Order still stands,” he said, adding that “we will appeal to large and multinational corporations to pay more.”

The business leader pointed out that if the micro and small businesses can afford, these large companies could also pay more.

Approved by the members of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas last October 22, the new order provides a P30 daily pay hike for workers among non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees.

From the current P365 per day, the new rate would be P395.

Employees from establishments with less than 10 workers will get an additional of P15, making the new wage rate P310 per day.

For the agricultural sector, plantation workers will receive a P20 increase. So the new minimum wage rate under this sector is P315.

The local business sector earlier said they are “very disappointed” with the decision of the Wage Board as it has put them at the great disadvantage over multi-national companies.

Carbon said they earlier suggested for a classification of businesses like that of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) where there are startups, small, medium and large enterprises.

Aside from the capacity to pay more, large companies have the capacity to locate themselves in the best area in the city, Carbon said.

The business leader added that “given such decision, it seems that provincial businesses will forever be like sari-sari stores as they cannot compete with the big ones.”

Small and medium businesses comprise 99 percent of the industry and giving the most number of employment.

He, however, stressed that “they are not supporting us, they are putting us at great disadvantage instead.”

The labor sector, meanwhile, said they respect the stand of the MBCCI.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the (RTWPB-Western Visayas, said they recognize the right of the management to question new wage order.

Sancho, also the secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said though the opposition is part of the process, the labor stands firm on its position.

“As far as I am concerned, no member of the Wage Board will change their stand on the approved wage hike but we respect the business group’s take on the matter,” he added.


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