A business group has urged the government to focus instead on job creation, not wage increases, to pluck Filipinos out of poverty, a position which clashes against the stand taken by the labor sector.
Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis was commenting Monday on the pitch by Association of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO) president Duds Gerodias that they were supporting the push for an increase in the national minimum wage.
COURAGE national president Santiago Dasmariñas Jr. earlier urged the national government to set the minimum wage of state workers at P33,000 per month to offset skyrocketing inflation.
He said state workers at the lowest salary grade were paid a minimum wage of P12,517, way below IBON Foundation’s P1,119 estimated daily living wage needed by a family of five to live decently as of September 2022.
But Ortiz-Luis noted that increasing employee salaries might force micro, small, and medium enterprises to raise the prices of goods and services that they offer.
Wage increases benefit only those in the formal labor sector, who make up only about 10 percent of the 50 million-strong labor force, he said.
He said the government must go for “inclusive” solutions to economic problems, meaning a comprehensive mixture of things to do.
Inflation in October further accelerated on the back of higher food prices including vegetables and meat, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.