“ON FIRE.” The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) conducted a drill on Thursday (Feb. 28) involving a commercial plane engulfed in flames. The simulation exercise was conducted to evaluate the readiness of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City in managing emergencies at the facility. (TACLOBAN TODAY)

Congress offers P100 to P350 increase

TACLOBAN CITY-The business sector in Leyte province, including this city, is not supporting a proposed legislated wage increase for daily minimum wage workers.

Implementing a ‘huge’ increase would not actually benefit the workers but could lead to losing employment, Eugene Tan, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Tacloban Leyte chapter, said in a phone interview.

Tan said that he hoped that the legislators would reconsider any wage proposal as this could also lead to business closure.

“We have submitted our position paper, including those in the Western and Central Visayas, on this proposed P100 legislated increase as this could lead to more repercussions than benefits to our workers,” he said in a phone interview.

Earlier, the Senate approved a P100 daily wage increase while members of the House of Representatives are also deliberating similar measures with the amount ranging from P100 up to P350 daily wage for private workers.

According to Tan, a P100 daily wage increase, for example, is huge for small and micro businesses to absorb considering that they have also to pay other operational expenses and taxes to national and local governments.

“It’s not that we are opposing to any wage adjustments. In fact, we are compliant with the wage orders issued by our Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) on wage increases. The proposed increase is huge for us,” Tan said.

“We hope that our (legislators) will reconsider this proposal as this could lead to possible losses of employment and closure of businesses,” he said.

Tan also said that any wage adjustments are better left to regional wage boards and not by an act of Congress.

“We have the regional wage boards which are more equipped in determining any wage adjustments,” he said.

Tan instead suggested that the government would come up with programs that would further hone the skills of the workers for them to be more productive and in the process, help them gain an increase of income.

Last November, the RTWPB in Eastern Visayas approved a P30 wage increase, putting the daily wage of private workers in the region at P405.

Tan expressed his apprehension that if there is an increase in unemployment, peace and order may be affected.

“Crime rate in the country could increase,” Tan said.