Monday, December 12, 2016

Right-size, do not down-size, 
RTWPB appeals to businesses

CORTES, Bohol, December 10, (PIA)—Right-size, rather than down-size. 

Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) member and Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Asteria Caberte proposed this amidst the veiled threats that labor groups and businesses in Bohol issued over the rising petitions for wage increase in the region. 

A year after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) implemented the P310 daily wage, the ban for a wage increase is lifted, and without any supervening conditions in the region, the RTWPB now convenes to hear labor and management sentiments, especially with two groups petitioning for across the board increases in the daily pay of workers, explains RTWPB chair and labor regional director Exequiel Sarcauga Jr.

Earlier too, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has proposed for a P161.00 across the board increase in minimum wage, as incorporated in a position paper submitted to the DOLE. 

Another labor group, SENTRO / Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) along with major labor unions in Cebu asked for P140.00 across the board increase. 

At the wage consultation held at the Metrocenter Hotel last week, Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Panglao Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR) appealed for a moratorium on the wage increase.

“Wage increase at this time, would create an alarming destabilization in the employers level that could result in the downsizing or relieving of employees, price inflation, closure of businesses, loan defaults and loss of investments, BCCI representative Dominic Butalid reads from the group’s formal petition.

Hearing this, an alarmed DTI regional Director Caberte stood appealing to local businesses to right size instead. 

Caberte noted that one of the most stunning differences in local establishments and foreign companies is the number of employees. 

“You get into a mall here and you will notice so much number of sales people following you,” she pointed out. 

These, she hinted, are ways where the business establishment could explore, to cut on the operational costs. 

And to further bolster Caberte’s claim, labor regional director Sarcauga guided everyone to think as to why fastfood businesses flourish. 

Right sizing, he illustrated, is how fast food companies use minimal employees to efficiently do multiple tasks. 

Fastfood companies often employ cashiers who also double up as counter assistants, busboys, ushers and other tasks in the frontline. 

RTWPB is not just about wages, it is also about productivity, and the only way the Philippines can be as competitive as with other countries is through these innovations, Sarcauga stressed. 

In Bohol, while a P310 minimum wage is in effect, labor sectors have accused the DOLE of failure to monitor and implement the right wage. 

Complaints of employees being made to sign double payrolls abound even as labor agents continue to scour the establishments to get proof of the possible labor malpractice.

On this, even a resort owner operating in Anda and in Panglao, Fred Carmona has rather asked DOLE to strictly implement and impose the P310 minimum wage, rather than push for a possibly devastating across the board increase all over the region. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
Making the Philippine businesses competitive may mean putting up high minimum wage ceilings but DOLE7 RD Exequiel Sarcauga Jr., and DTI 7 RD Asteria Caberte openly agree that a smart use of the right size of employees can still lend businesses the savings needed to compete with other markets. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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