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Biz groups appeal for recall of new wage law for WV

Five business groups from Capiz and Iloilo have appealed for the recall of Wage Order RBVI-26, which imposes a 13 percent to 35 percent increase, and its amendment to 3 percent to 5 percent of the current rate.

The appeal, signed by presidents of the Iloilo Business Club, Inc., Iloilo Hotel Restaurants and Resorts Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Iloilo chapter, and the Capiz Halaran Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the chairperson of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc., was submitted to the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC) through the Regional Tripartite Wages Productivity Board (RTWPB) on May 30.

The 16-page petition, a copy of which was furnished to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday, stated that the new minimum wage that was approved by the RTWPB last month and forwarded to the NWPC on May 14 was “gravely ill-timed and unreasonable.”

“This does not come within the ambit of the counter-proposal of the business sector during the last public hearing. While it is lower than the PHP750 previously petitioned by the Fuersa-Super group, it is still unjust and unconscionable as it completely disregards the capacity of the employer to pay these wages and the economic repercussions on the local economy of Western Visayas,” it said.

Under the new wage order effective June 5, or 15 days after its publication on May 20, the minimum wage for non-agricultural establishments employing more than 10 workers will rise to P450 from the current P390; and P420 from the current P310 for those employing 10 workers or less.

The minimum wage rate for those in the agricultural sector will increase to P410 from the existing P315.

The P55 increase for those with more than 10 workers and P110 for those with less than 10 is equivalent to 13 percent to 35 percent of their current wage, while the P95 or 35 percent hike for those in the agricultural sector is “alarming”, the petitioners said.

They claimed it is “troubling” that the highest rate of increase will be imposed on mostly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

They also said Western Visayas has the highest minimum wage, even higher than that of the National Capital Region, which approved a 6 percent hike.

Other regions have approved increases ranging from 6 percent to 31 percent.

“If passed, these will cripple, if not decimate, the operations of the struggling local businesses in Iloilo City and the rest of the region, and will hinder their efforts to bounce back from the pandemic, thereby incapacitating them from fully servicing the needs of the public and creating more jobs,” the petition added.*PNA

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