The business community in Bohol is seeking a moratorium on wage increases amid the pandemic-induced economic slump and the aftermath of Typhoon “Odette.”
Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Reginald Ong, during a public hearing of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 7 at the Metro Centre Hotel on Monday, said it is “not the right time” for a wage adjustment as businesses are still recovering from the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Di pa karon ang saktong panahon na mo increase kintahay kay we’re still recovering from the pandemic and duha ka bagyo na ni-agi nato. Other than sa nagasi ta adtong duha ka tuig na hing agi, mahal na pud karon ang pag operate sa business mao ng nihanyo ta sa labor sector na mag maintain sa lang ta sa wage levels karong panahona,” said Ong.
Ong added that the appeal was backed by the BCCI and several other business groups including the Bohol Association of Hotels Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR), Talibon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Federation Of Filipino Chinese Chambers Of Commerce & Industry, Inc. in Bohol.
Ong expressed optimism that the wage board would grant their appeal.
“I think tanan views na paminaw nila medyo receptive man pud ang wage board karon. We’re hopeful. We’re positive na mo tunong to among hanyo na moratorium,” Ong said.
According to RTWPB 7 chairman Labor Undersecretary Victor Del Rosario, the wage board will likely come out with a decision by early June.
He said public hearings will still be conducted in other localities including Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Metro Cebu and Southern Cebu before they can come up with a decision.
The RTWPB is looking into four proposals for wage increase including one from the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) which sought a P-430 wage hike.
The current daily minimum wage in Bohol stands at P366. (A. Doydora)