Biz leader: P70 minimum wage hike ‘quite high’

THE P70 increase in the daily minimum wage being pushed by the General Alliance and Workers Assembly (Gawa) for workers in the Negros Island Region (NIR) is quite high thus, it is most likely not feasible, a local business leader said.

Frank Carbon, regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in Western Visayas and Negros Occidental, said Tuesday the proposed increase, which will possibly surpass the rate in the National Capital Region and Cebu, may not be viable for the management sector.

Carbon pointed out there have been no increases in the prices of products and services for a long time which can be attributed mainly to stable prices of raw materials and petroleum products thus, the P70 increase would mean a huge additional production cost to businesses.

“The business group has yet to have its own computation, we might sit down to draft our position paper as soon as the petition for wage increase of the labor sector will come out,” Carbon said.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity (RTWPB) Western Visayas’ Wage Order 22 effective for one year and has expired last May 2. It provided an increase of P11.50 in the daily minimum wage of workers in Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, which is now under NIR.

The approved amount was much lower than the P85 increase proposed by the labor sector.

Currently, minimum wage earners for non-agriculture, industrial, and commercial sectors in the province receive a P298.50 daily wage if the company employs more than 10 workers, while P256.50 for those with less than 10 employees.

For the agriculture sector, plantation and non-plantation workers earn daily minimum wage of P266.50 and P256.50, respectively.

Gawa had earlier said they are planning to file the new petition for wage hike after the elections.

Carbon further said the proposal of Gawa should be subjected to further study as it may also affect other employment positions, aside from rank-and-file workers.

The proposed adjustment on the daily minimum wage may result to complications in the salaries among different ranks like managers and supervisors thus, further discussion to study its effects to the whole structure is necessary, he added.
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