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House leader: ECOP should not use MSMEs to oppose wage hike

House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas warned the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) against using the micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) to justify its opposition to Makabayan bloc’s proposed P750 nationwide daily wage hike for private sector workers.

“ECOP cannot speak for the micro and small enterprises in opposing the P750 wage hike demand because ECOP represents large corporations, most of which belong to the top 1,000 corporations,” Brosas said in a statement.

"The top 1,000 corporations which ECOP and other business chambers represent can fully shoulder the P750 wage increase from their superprofits. In fact, profits of top 1,000 firms jumped by 17.5% in 2021, during the height of the pandemic, when workers had to make do with crumbs. Dapat tigilan na ng ECOP ang pag-aastang spokesperson at tagapagtanggol ng MSMEs dahil sa aktwal ay interes ng malalaking negosyo sa bansa ang kinakatawan nito," she added.

(ECOP should stop acting like they are the spokesperson of MSMEs because they represent big businesses.)

Gabriela Partylist said large enterprises also heavily benefited from the tax savings upon the implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) which should enable them to shoulder the proposed wage increase.

Under the Makabayan’s bloc wage hike proposal under House Bill 7568, wage subsidies will be provided to micro and small enterprises and small landowners hiring agricultural workers to help them finance the proposed wage hike.

“Funding for wage subsidies can be sourced from redundant infrastructure projects, and from the collection of wealth tax on the assets of top Filipino billionaires. We can also include allocations for wage subsidies in the unprogrammed funds,” Brosas said.

She cited the P807.16 billion unprogrammed funds under the 2023 budget for various programs covering infrastructure projects, AFP modernization, and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“We can use this to subsidize the wages in the MSMEs sector,” she added. —VAL, GMA Integrated News