Local wages to increase this year - survey
By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio
MANILA, Philippines - Majority of local companies said they will be increasing the wages of their employees this year, results of a survey conducted by Grant Thornton showed.
According to the International Business Report (IBR), 70 percent of the surveyed business leaders said they will be increasing the pay of their workers while none said they will institute a pay cut.
The survey further stated that nearly half or 49 percent of Filipino business leaders said they would increase salaries in line with inflation, while 21 percent intend to increase pay by more than the inflation.
Meanwhile, 47 percent of Filipino business leaders surveyed said that they have increased the number of their employees in the past year while 35 percent said their personnel complement remained the same.
“This is very good news for Filipino workers, who took quite a beating early last year,” said Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A) managing partner and COO Marivic Españo. P&A, local partner of Grant Thornton, released the survey.
“In 2009, we saw several companies, particularly those located in ecozones, cease operations or retrench workers because of the financial crisis. But now, those companies are bouncing back,” she added.
However, Españo cautioned against complacency regarding the domestic labor situation. “The jobs are available, but some businesses struggle to find qualified workers who can ably fill those posts,” she noted.
A Labor Turnover Survey released by the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) in November 2009 showed that 45.2 percent of the respondents polled in Metro Manila could not find qualified applicants to fill more than 3,500 vacancies. Most of the openings were in the health care and customer service sectors.
Likewise, a 2009 survey commissioned by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines and Outsource2Philippines revealed a similar trend: 54 percent of BPO executives who were surveyed believe the country’s lack of qualified personnel would limit the industry’s growth potential.
“In the BPO industry, the trend is leaning towards high-value knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). These KPO companies are looking for people who can handle legal, market research, even animation services,” said Españo. “So if we are to shrink the unemployment rate, we have to find a way to make sure that the skills of Filipino workers match the needs of these businesses.”
(As published in The Philippine Star, 26 February 2010. An article about this particular IBR result also appeared in Manila Bulletin, 27 February 2010.)