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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesMonday, August 22, 2011
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NOCCI opposes wage hike bid

The Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. has expressed strong opposition to a proposed P100 and P120.40 across-the-board wage increase for Central Visayas.

The NOCCI outlined in a position paper its reasons for opposing wage increases proposes by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and the Alliance of Progressive Labor.

It cited power costs, that increased twice this year and third time in October.

The members of NOCCI also cited high taxation, expensive logistics, and stiff regulations. The proposed increase of P100 per day, which would translate to P2,600 a month and said the P120.40 per day increase would mean P3,200 per month, would aggravate their present financial situation and might force them to retrench their workforce or worse, stop operations.

The group also noted the 56 percent drop in the price of sugar this year, which is bad for the agricultural sector. Negros Oriental, they said, is mostly an agricultural economy.

The business sector acknowledged that while the labor sector also suffers from the unstable commodity prices brought about by the extraordinary increase in the prices of petroleum products and other commodities, the business sector is equally affected.

“NOCCI’s position has always been for the government to focus its efforts on job creation and productivity for the agri-marine sector rather than wage hikes especially that Negros Oriental is primarily an agricultural province,” the business group said.

The position paper stated that any across-the-board wage increase should be pegged with the prevailing inflation rate or Consumer Price Index of Negros Oriental.*AP

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