Employers urge gov't: Focus on job creation, not wage hikes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2022 01:39 PM

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MANILA – Government should focus on creating jobs instead of hiking wages in order to lift Filipinos out of poverty, a business group said Monday.

Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis’ comments come after Association of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO) president Duds Gerodias said they are backing the push for an increase in the national minimum wage.

“Yung family living wage po ay naka-bracket po doon sa isang pamilya na may bilang na 5. Na ang figure po eh--nung pinag-aralan, wala pang 7.7 percent na inflation--ay P1,118 yung living wage. Pero ngayon dahil punalo na ng 7.7 percent mula nung Oktubre yung inflation rate, malamang ay iba,” he said.

COURAGE national president Santiago Dasmariñas Jr. earlier urged the national government to set the minimum wage of state workers at P33,000 per month to offset skyrocketing inflation.

He said state workers at the lowest salary grade are paid a minimum wage of P12,517, which is a far cry from IBON Foundation's P1,119 estimated daily living wage needed by a family of five to live decently as of September 2022.

Ortiz-Luis, however, noted that increasing employee salaries may force micro, small, and medium enterprises to raise the prices of goods and services that they offer. 

Wage hikes benefit only those in the formal labor sector, who make up only about 10 percent of the 50 million-strong labor force, he said.

“Pag tinaas yung presyo nung tindahan, eh di pati yung 90 percent na hindi naman nataasan ng kita ay magbabayad ng additional,” he added.

The businessmen said government must go for “inclusive” solutions to economic problems.

“Tama yung ginagawa ng gobyerno yung sa mga ayuda, hinahagip nila yung informal sector dahil yun ang mga mas kawawa. At yun ang talagang hirap na hirap. Naiiwanan silang lagi,” he said.

“At dapat sana, tama naman yung ginagawa ng pamahalaan ngayon, naghahanap ng investors, naghahanap ng ano dahil at the end of the day it will be translated to work,” he added.

Inflation in October further accelerated on the back of higher food prices including vegetables and meat, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

--TeleRadyo, 28 November 2022