BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental—
Good timing, or bad timing?
The question was raised both by the business industry and the workers took opposing sides to the issue on wage increase, with one side saying it could affect the recovery of an economy that just recently took a beating from a health crisis, while another saying the time is ripe now.
The issue surfaced when the Western Visayas egional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board issued wage order no. 26, providing a wage increase for workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments of P55 and P110 respectively.
This proposal is expected to take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper regional circulation.
But, as has been asked earlier, is this issue a bad or good timing?
Petitioner Jesel Gayanelo, Fishta Union of Employees for Reforms Through Solidarity Actions president, said this proposal has “good timing” now that prices of basic goods and commodities are also increasing.
She added that it has been three years since the last minimum wage was increased and it is about time to request for its hike.
Business leader Frank Carbon, chairperson of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the other hand described the request as “horrible” in terms of its timing and the amount of increase the employees asked.
“Bad timing,” he emphasized.
Carbon said the economy and small businesses are not yet ready for this, as he stressed that what should be given more importance now is job creation and as establishments are still recovering from the loss brought by the pandemic.
Gayanelo however replied that they cannot just sit around and do nothing with the minimum wage they receive while prices of basic necessities continue to soar.
Carbon on the other hand questioned why the wage board asks small/micro businesses to have a P110 increase while big corporations are told to only increase by P55.
The proposal will bring the daily minimum wage in the region to P450 and P420 for those employing more than 10 workers and those employing 10 or less workers, respectively.
The Board also granted a P95 increase for workers in the agriculture sector bringing the daily minimum wage to P410.