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ECOP rejects P100 daily minimum wage hike bill

By: Arlie O. Calalo The Manila Times (February 17, 2024)

THE head of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) on Friday rejected the Senate's proposal to impose a P100 across-the-board increase in the daily minimum wage in the private sector.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. PHOTO BY: BENEDICT ABAYGAR, JR.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., who is also the newly elected president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., told reporters covering the "Pandesal Forum" at the Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City that senators should rethink their move to start plenary debates on a bill mandating the private sector to implement their proposed wage hike. Ortiz-Luis' call was supported by ECOP director and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Labor and Employment Committee Chairman Arturo "Butch" Guerrero, along with Los Angeles-based CSI-MHO Foundations and CSI Professionals Inc. Chief Executive Officer Atty. Marge Ordiales-Martinez.

During the same forum with newspaper columnist Wilson Lee Flores as moderator, Guerrero and Ordiales-Martinez pressed for multisectoral consultations to tackle the labor wage issue.

Both Ortiz-Luis and Guerrero warned of potential inflationary dangers associated with the proposed legislated wage hike. They stressed that such a move could also adversely affect businesses still now recovering from the recent pandemic crisis and other challenges hounding the country.

They pointed to the "vulnerable" micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that constitute over 90 percent of the country's workforce.

"These are the people who will be largely affected when that wage hike is implemented because it will follow with increase in prices of commodities which would affect all, particularly these people who do not benefit from such wage hike," the two ECOP executives said.

They then cautioned against bypassing the Regional Wage Boards as they urged lawmakers to let the former to properly analyze and determine appropriate wage adjustments as they did in the past. They emphasized the need to prevent the wage increase issue from becoming politicized in order to safeguard the stability of the Philippine economy.

Earlier, the 24-member Senate said it was set to start plenary debates on a bill mandating the private sector to implement a P100 daily minimum wage increase in the private sector.

This comes after the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development endorsed the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 2534, a proposed Act mandating that the minimum wage rate of all workers in the private sector, whether agricultural or nonagricultural, shall be increased by P100 a day.

SB 2534 is principally authored by Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Lorna Regina "Loren" Legara, Maria Lourdes "Nancy" Binay, Christopher "Bong" Go and Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada. Under the bill, nothing shall prevent the respective Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board from granting additional increases to the workers and employees based on its determination under Republic Act 6727, otherwise known as the "Wage Rationalization Act," as amended. Source:

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