Employers say wage hike inevitable

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 30 2012 03:40 PM | Updated as of May 01 2012 02:19 AM

Wage board still consulting public

MANILA, Philippines - Employers may give in to the demands of workers for another round of wage hikes, but the increase will not be as high as what the latter want.

Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) director-general Vicente Leogardo Jr. told ABS-CBNnews.com that an adjustment is in the offing, but only after the lapse of the one-year moratorium on wage setting.

Leogardo is the representative of employers in the wage board.

“I think [it’s inevitable]. I don’t think our principals can stem the agitation,” he said.

He said employers are studying the range set by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said an adjustment of P13 to P21 can keep pace with spiraling inflation.

This is far from the P90 across-the-board increase proposed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

A wage hike would adjust the current rate of P426 per day.  The last adjustment was on May 26 last year, which was a P22 cost-of-living allowance (COLA).

A COLA is not included in the computation of the 13th month pay and other bonuses.

Leogardo said an adjustment can be implemented after May 26. Already, the tripartite wage board has set two public consultations.

One more has been set in Caloocan on Friday.