Tuesday, June 18, 2024

PCCI Asks Congress to Defer to National Wage Boards on Wage Hike

PCCI Asks Congress to Defer to National Wage Boards on Wage Hike

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The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said on Tuesday that Congress should let the National Wages and Productivity Commission and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards decide on wage increases rather than legislate a bill that would only benefit a few and disenfranchise other members of the labor force.

PCCI President Enunina V. Mangio said that the proposed P100 legislated wage increase co-authored by Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Migs Zubiri, now on the third and final reading, will only benefit five million workers versus 47 million others that are in the informal sector.

“The P100 proposed wage will not even be enough when inflation goes up. Why don’t we instead legislate measures to address the rising cost in food prices and other issues that hamper our economic growth,” Mangio said.

Mangio added that the move would shun away foreign investors from doing business in the Philippines. “No one would ever try to look at the Philippines once they see that legislators can enact wage hikes anytime even disregarding the authority of the National Wage Board,” she added.

Mangio also stressed that Senators did not even consider nor listen to the position of the employers and the business community.

PCCI local chambers also expressed their strong opposition to the proposed P100 legislated wage increase, while supporting the recommendations of the joint business groups led by PCCI.

“The proposed legislation directly infringes upon the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) mandate to regulate wage adjustments regionally based on economic conditions. Centralizing wage determination undermines the board’s ability to tailor wage policies to regional economic realities, thereby risking economic imbalances,” a statement of support issued by PCCI South Luzon.

On the other hand, PCCI Visayas provided the following recommendations for the government to:

  1. Prioritize expanding economic activities and attracting investments to complement labor and local productivity. This can be achieved through innovative investment promotion strategies and efforts to enhance the ease of doing business nationwide. “By attracting both foreign and local direct investments, we can generate more job opportunities and stimulate economic growth that is inclusive.
  2. Proactively address inflationary pressures, particularly regarding the prices of basic goods and services, high utility costs (especially power and water), fuel prices, and the importation of goods. It is also crucial to boost the agricultural value chain and develop new agri-aqua technologies to improve productivity and reduce dependency on imports, and
  3. Enact safety nets to protect labor from exploitation and ensure fair wages.