ECoP Urges Gov't Safety Nets for Labor

Article excerpt

Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

Employers yesterday urged the government to provide safety nets to the marginalized to cushion the impact of higher prices of basic commodities instead of pushing for another round of wage adjustment, which will only aggravate the current economic debacle.

Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said they are willing to thresh out measures with government to ease the plight of workers without hurting businesses.

Ortiz-Luis said that raising labor wages anew would only will ultimately boomerang on workers as businesses would eventually retrench workers to defray higher labor costs.

"A wage hike is not the solution to the current economic woes as the disadvantaged sector of society will suffer all the more as they will not benefit from any adjustment in the minimum wage," Ortiz-Luis said.

Under the present setup where wages are set and raised by the various regional tripartite wages and productivity boards, only those in the formal sector, especially the minimum wage earners, benefit while the marginalzed, those who do not have fixed or steady source of income are left out.

He cited the drivers, vendors, mechanics, welders, plumbers, electricians as those who will not enjoy any wage adjustment at all. …