The Forum Series of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) slated this year kicked off on September 22, with discussions focusing on the recently issued wage order in the National Capital Region (NCR) as well as the proposed establishment of a two-tiered wage system.
During the forum, National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) Executive Director Ciriaco Lagunzad dwelled on government’s wage policy of protecting vulnerable workers, especially the unrepresented or marginalized and new entrants to the labor force.
Lagunzad noted though that the current wage system creates “unintended consequences” such as distortions which forces firms to adjust the pay of affected employees; inflation; and unemployment as a result of higher wages.
Thus, Lagunzad said the NWPC is rethinking the current wage system in terms of its relevance to present conditions, the extent of government intervention in the area of setting wages, and trade offs of government intervention in the system.
Lagunzad added that the NWPC is considering an alternative wage system such as a two-tiered wage system, which consists of a floor wage that is mandatory and a productivity=based pay. Such wage system, according to Lagunzad, will protect the vulnerable and at the same time, encourage productivity.
For his part, ECOP Director General Vicente Leogardo, Jr. said operationalizing the two-tiered wage system would be a long shot and the parameters thoroughly defined.
The forum was also an occasion for the ECOP Membership Committee, headed by Anton Sayo, and ECOP Vice President Mario Mamon as adviser, to hold the induction ceremonies for new members this year. In attendance during the induction rites were Richard Sun, Vice President-Administrative Division, Asia Brewery, Inc.; Eric Alam Zane, coordinator, Asia-Pacific Resource Center Church of the Nazarene; Elena Garcia, General Affairs and Personnel Manager, F. Tech R&D Phils., Inc.; Noriesol Balasubramaniam, HRD Manager, Festival Supermall; Rowena Santiago, HRD Officer, HMC, Inc.; Jesus Varela, Chairman, New Light Technology Corp.; Jonathan Lu, President & COO, P.A. Alvarez properties and Development Corp.; and Federico Acosta, Vice President, Safe Seas Shipping Agency Co., Inc. The other companies which were also slated to be inducted but whose representatives were not able to attend were Beacon Environmental Management Systems, Inc.; BGISIS Development Corp.; Carina Apparel, Inc.; and Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp.