Freeman Cebu Business

Employers lament they too are “laboring”

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Labor groups are calling for another wage hike in Central Visayas.

The labor sector has been saying the current salary rates and illegal contractualization of workers prevent the gains of strong economic growth from trickling down to the masses.

But the employer sector would also insist they're faced with various challenges to survive.

Business coach Virgilio Espeleta said while businesses recognize the welfare of their workers, they, too, are "laboring" to survive in a competitive business environment that's seen the rising cost of doing business. 

"Entrepreneurs are likewise laboring to survive, grow and compete in this time of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment," Espeleta told The FREEMAN when sought for comment following labor groups' plans to file wage hike petition before the government.

In a very disruptive business environment, Espeleta said there's "no certainty and no one can be sure about sustainability or security of business."

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president also said: "Hence who can guarantee security of tenure? Who can guarantee that any increases in wages can translate into increased productivity and revenue?"

Labor groups were expected to file yesterday a petition for a P351.50 across-the-board salary hike for Central Visayas workers.

Sought for comment, Filipino-Cebuano Business Club president Rey Calooy said most of their member companies are implementing incentive scheme.

"Let us wait," he said of the planned hike petition. "Most of our members are implementing incentivize scheme in addition to their present benefits."

Last Oct. 23, 2018, a petition for a P150 across-the-board daily wage adjustment was filed by the Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC), Lonbisco Employees Organization (LEO), Metaphil Workers Union (MWU), NUWHRAIN-Montebello Chapter, NLM-Katipunan and UnionBank Employees Association (UBEA).

In January 2019, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Central Visayas dismissed the petition.

It was August last year when wage order ROVII-21 took effect, raising the minimum wage in the region’s class A cities and towns to P386.

Espeleta pointed out businesses are faced with various challenges aside from their obligation to their workers. 

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