Gov’t urged to defer wage hike until price pressures ease | Inquirer Business

Gov’t urged to defer wage hike until price pressures ease

/ 07:46 AM October 31, 2023

MANILA  -The Philippines’ biggest business organization urged the government to hold off another wage hike until the country’s inflation settles back to the 2 percent to 4 percent targeted range, to help businesses cope with the resulting increase in labor costs.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) recommended this as part of its wish list to the government this year, citing in particular Senate Bill No. 2002 or Across-the-Board Wage Increase Act of 2023.

“The bill is ill-timed due to the prevailing high inflation rate and most businesses are still recovering from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot afford to absorb additional labor cost in their operation,” reads part of the resolution passed by PCCI during the recent the Philippine Business Conference and Expo.


READ: Zubiri pushing for passage of legislated wage hike by December


Earlier in September, the PCCI and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) warned of the impact of another legislated wage hike being pushed in Congress.

PCCI president George Barcelon said it would gnaw on the Philippines’ competitiveness in attracting foreign investments, while Ecop president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. warned that it could lead to even higher inflation as businesses pass on the added labor cost to consumers.

READ: PH inflation rose to 6.1% in Sept as food prices, transport cost soared

The country’s inflation rate stood at 6.9 percent in September, bringing the year-to-date average to 5.1 percent.

Agrarian Reform Law, Department of Water Resources

The PCCI also renewed its call for the government to amend the Agrarian Reform Law in order to raise the land retention limit from 5 to 24 hectares. The current limit was considered to be too small to be viable and was not enough to support commercial production.

Another major recommendation from the PCCI is to create a Department of Water Resources and for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to create a Water Resources Management Office to integrate and harmonize all government efforts and regulatory activities to ensure availability and sustainable management of water resources.


The PCCI also called for the passage of several pending legislative measures in Congress, including the Open Access in Data Transmission Act, the Better Internet Act, the Rural Wired Connectivity Development Act, the Satellite-Based Technologies for Internet Connectivity Act and the Philippine Spectrum Management Act.

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TAGS: ecop, pcci, wage hike

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