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Marcos calls for a revision of wages



Marcos calls for a revision of wages

By means of Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, News reporter

PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday orcalled for regional wage boards revision of minimum wages as Filipino workers face stagnation wage growth despite rising costs of living.

Regional administrations must take into account economic challenges such as inflation when carrying out wage revisions, Mr. Marcos said in a speech at a Labor Day ceremony in Malacañang.

“As President, I call on the Regional Tripartite Council on Wages and Productivity to initiate a timely review of minimum wages in their respective regions, paying due attention to the impact ofFincluding within 60 days prior to the anniversary of their last payroll order,” he said.

Mr. Marcos called on the National Wages and Productivity Commission, which oversees wage boards, to ensure “a regular and predictable” schedule of wage reviews to “reduce uncertainty and increase fairness for all stakeholders.”

The Philippines adjusts daily minimum wages through their wage boards. The National Capital Region (NCR) Wage Board approved a P40 increase on June 29, 2023, bringing the minimum wage for workers in the non-farm sector from P570 to P610.

However, slow and meager wage increases coupled with rising costs of living have prompted lawmakers to pursue wage increases through legislation.

Senators have approved a bill on second reading that would increase the daily minimum wage in the private sector by 100 euros.

Separate bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives that aim to increase the wages of private sector workers by 150 to 750 euros. Fsick.

Filipino inFInflation accelerated for the second month in a row in March – from 3.4% in February to 3.7% – while rice prices continued to rise. In March, indoorsFThe inflation-adjusted wages were 16.7%-24.2% or P73.25-P114.20 lower than the current daily minimum wages in the country’s regions.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) described Marcos’ call as “prudent,” saying it was a balanced approach to the labor sector’s demands for a wage increase and proposals in Congress for a statutory wage increase.

“I think it is a very sensible suggestion to give the tripartite bodies 60 days to discuss this matter,” PCCI President George T. Barcelon said during a telephone conversation.

Employers’ Federation of the Philippines President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. said Mr. Marcos’ latest appeal could mean that current wage hike proposals in Congress will not have his support.

“I think this basically sends the message that the ones who have to handle the paycheck should be the pay board,” he said on a phone call.

“It is an indirect way of saying that Congress should not interfere,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

Filomeno S. Sta. Ana III, coordinator at Action for Economic Reforms, said regional wage councils remain the appropriate body to decide on wage increase proposals because they are supposedly “better responsive to local conditions.”

“It deviates from a rigid one-size-fits-allFit’s all one approach,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

“In terms of raising the minimum wage, the benchmark is to ensure that nominal wages keep pace with high inflation and that higher worker productivity is rewarded,” Mr Sta said. Ana said.

“As for the trade-off, whether a higher minimum wage leads to worse inflation or unemployment is an empirical question,” he added. “At the same time, there are circumstances in which such fear or threat of escalating inflation or unemployment does not emerge.”

The IBON Foundation said an across-the-board wage increase of P690 is needed to raise the average minimum wage of P440 nationwide to the current average living family wage of P1,207 nationwide.

“The pay increase corresponds to 49% of the proFit applies to all establishment sizes and would split profits more or less equally between employers and employees,” IBON Foundation director Jose Enrique “Sonny” A. Africa said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

“Broken down, the wage increase corresponds to 54% of the proFit is in micro, 53% in small and 46% in medium and large Firmes,” he said.

Raising wages is easiest for medium and large companies, while the government can help smaller companies Fproblems with wage subsidies or other support, he noted.

Many small businesses, especially those under the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law, are exempt from any proposed wage increase, said Jose Sonny G. Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers, as his group supports proposals for a statutory wage increase.

For companies that are truly unable to meet the new wage standards, the provisions of the Wage Rationalization Act provide exemptions, he added in a Viber message.

Also on Wednesday, Mr. Marcos asked Congress to approve measures that would support his administration’s job creation agenda, such as the proposed Enterprise-based Education and Training Program Act, which aims to boost training programs for workers from the middle level rationalization, and the Revised Apprenticeship Program Act.

He also mentioned a bill that aims to further reduce income taxes at home and abroad Firms.

Meanwhile, Mr. Marcos unveiled the master plan for a proposed Workers’ Rehabilitation Center Complex to be built in the province of Rizal.

The facility aims to provide comprehensive management and treatment for injured workers, with an emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach to recovery to enable their reintegration into the labor market.