Thursday, 26 February 2009

Most workers in Philippines to get pay hikes - study

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Most local employees will get salary increases as a majority of private businesses disclosed that they will be hiring more people despite of the global economic crash, an international survey said.

The International Business Report (IBR) released by Punongbayan & Araullo showed that 76 percent of Filipino business leaders expect either to increase wages above the rate of inflation or in line with it, while only two-percent plan to reduce pay. A small part or 12 percent do not expect to offer any pay rise.

The IBR also stated that 35 percent of local privately held businesses (PHBs) expect to increase their number of employees while 49-percent plan to maintain their current total workforce.

“Local PHBs are in a different boat when it comes to employment issues,” Greg Navarro, managing partner and CEO of P&A said.

On the question of declining pay or offering no pay raise in the next 12 months, the country ranked 26 out of the 36 countries surveyed. Number one was Taiwan, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Earlier results from the IBR showed that 63 percent of local PHBs see ‘lack of skilled workers’ as a major constraint to their business expansion. So while we’re hearing about companies around the world not having enough business to keep all their employees, Filipino business leaders have the jobs but have difficulty finding the right workers. It’s a no less worrying situation to be in,” Navaro noted.

He said this is particularly true of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry because BPO companies in the Philippines expect to create 100,000 more new jobs this year.

The IBR also asked respondents about the effect of migration – outbound and inbound – on their country’s economy. This showed that 73 percent of Filipino business leaders see migration as either extremely positive or positive. Only 14 percent see the movement as having either an extremely negative or negative impact on the economy.

“Obviously, Filipino business leaders here are looking at the positive impact that remittances have on the RP economy,” Navarro said.

In 2008, nearly 1.4 million Filipinos were deployed overseas to work, representing a 28-percent increase from the previous year. And despite warnings that money from OFWs would slow because of the global financial crisis, remittances last year posted a 13.7-percent growth, compared to its 13.2 percent rise in 2007.

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