PCCI calls NCR P35-wage hike ‘reasonable’

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said on Thursday that the P35 wage hike for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) is “reasonable” even though it raises concerns from the chamber’s members.

In a statement, PCCI President Enunina V. Mangio said that the group’s members, although they have flagged the wage hike’s negative effects, have pledged to pay the new minimum wage.

“It’s a decision made by the wage board; we will respect and follow that. On the part of PCCI, we will monitor and evaluate its impact on our micro and small enterprises, which we consider the backbone of our economy,” Ms. Mangio said.

She said that businesses will be forced to adjust to higher labor costs, particularly micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“The increase is fair compared to the previously proposed P100, which was way too much for employers and would likely lead to the closure of businesses and unemployment,” she said.

“I believe it is a win-win decision for both employers and workers. We also recognize how inflation is affecting all of us,” she added.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board approved a P35 minimum wage hike for workers in the NCR.

To take effect on July 17, the wage hike will increase daily pay for nonagricultural and agricultural workers to P645 and P608, respectively.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has acknowledged that businesses may encounter “challenges” with the recent adjustment, and committed to providing assistance and implementing programs that promote business resilience.

“The DTI is committed to strengthening business resilience and competitiveness, particularly for our small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are more vulnerable to wage increases,” Trade Undersecretary Jose Edgardo G. Sunico said.

“Large enterprises generally have the capacity to pay higher wages, but SMEs often require assistance,” he added.

According to Mr. Sunico, DTI projects include capacity-building initiatives through regular workshops and training sessions, digital transformation programs, market development support through trade fairs, streamlined business processes, and shared service facilities.

“Through these initiatives, we are supporting our SMEs to manage the challenges posed by wage increases,” he said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile