GenSan chamber pushes productivity-based incentives for workers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 May) – Instead of an increase in the minimum wage, the local business chamber is pushing for productivity-based incentives for private sector workers.

Raul Josefino Miguel, president of the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., said the group strongly opposes any government-mandated wage increase at this time since “there is no significant increase in the prices of basic commodities” in the area.

“There is ‘no felt need’ for such an increase as in fact no one has filed any petition for increase in minimum wage before the RTWPB [Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board] XII,” he said in a recent statement.

“Any mandated wage increase without corresponding increase in productivity will only be inflationary, and this will negate or offset any intended benefit of such increase,” said Miguel, a lawyer.

He said the chamber supports the efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment and the RTWPB XII to promote the grant of productivity-based incentives to workers.

Miguel urged chamber members and other business establishments to voluntarily adopt, in collaboration with their employees, such productivity incentive schemes they deem appropriate for their particular businesses.

The goal is to provide additional compensation or bonuses to employees based on measurable increase in productivity and accomplishment of predetermined qualitative and quantitative production standards and targets, he explained.

Private workers in the region last received an increase in their daily wages in April 2012 when the RTWPB approved Wage Order XII-17, which provided an additional cost-of-living allowance (COLA) of P6 to P8.

The wage order set an additional COLA of P4 to P6 for the second tranche starting December 1, 2012.

Non-agriculture workers in the region presently receive a minimum daily pay of P270 while agriculture plantation and non-plantation workers get P248 and P243, respectively.

For workers in retail and service establishments, the current minimum wage is P246 for those employing more than 10 workers and P240 for those with less than 10 employees.