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ECOP: Businesses with less than 10 employees may be exempted from wage hike

Video from PTV

MANILA — Businesses in Metro Manila and Western Visayas with less than 10 employees may be exempted from raising wages for their workers, a business organization said Tuesday. 

Sergio Ortiz Luis, president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, said this is among the labor department's general rules. Members of the barangay micro business enterprises (BMBE) will also be exempted.

"'Yun yung nasa general rules ng [Department of Labor and Employment] na kapag humihingi ng exemption, 'yung mga micro, yung sinasabing less than 10, magka-qualify pati yang mga nasa retail magka-qualify sa exemption," said Luis in a televised briefing. 

Their "worry," however, is the compliance of other micro and small businesses on the requirements and how they would cope with the P33 wage hike. Some of these businesses almost closed during the pandemic.

"Yung nasa medium and large, most of them pay more than minimum wage so hindi problema 'yun. Ang problema natin ay 'yung sa small. Marami diyan ay marginally operating also. Yun ang nagiging problema," he said. 

"Medyo may mga umaangal na bad timing daw pero ang sinasabi namin wala tayong magagawa."

The Metro Manila wage board had approved a P33 increase for minimum-wage earners in the region, bumping up the regional rate for non-agricultural jobs to P570.

Meanwhile, DOLE said the Western Visayas wage board also granted a salary increase for workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments of P55 and P110, respectively, bringing the daily minimum wage for the sectors in the region to P450 and P420. 

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier appealed for micro businesses to be exempted from the wage hike's citing their "struggles" in the pandemic. 

Labor groups, however, said many businesses can afford the wage hike but were only using the pandemic as an "excuse."