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Barely recovered from pandemic, PHOA rejects proposed legislated Daily Wage Hike

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It is undeniable that more than 50 percent of the MSMEs had closed down during the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been zero revenue in the tourism industry since April 2020. And the most dreadful forecast was that about 5-10 million jobs would be lost by the end of 2020. But thank heaven this never happened, but the fact remains that the tourism and hospitality industry was the most affected at all. Needless to say, hasn’t recovered yet at the post-pandemic time.

Mindful of the current condition, the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA) has expressed its opposition to the proposed legislated daily wage hike currently being deliberated upon in the House of Representatives. The association, representing a significant sector of the hospitality industry, emphasized concerns regarding the potential negative impact of such a wage hike on the tourism and hotel industry in the Philippines. 

In his letter to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, PHOA President Arthur M. Lopez said that the association acknowledges the importance of improving the welfare of workers but highlighted the fragile state of the industry in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Tourism numbers and revenue figures are struggling to recover,” Lopez said. He added that the timing and potential repercussions of a blanket wage increase will have a negative impact on the hotel industry. 

“The industry is still grappling with low tourist arrivals, decreased room occupancy rates, and subdued revenue generation compared to pre-pandemic levels. What is needed is a strategic and sustainable approach to economic recovery, “ said Lopez. He urged policymakers to consider the unique challenges faced by the tourism and hotel sector in the current climate. He also said that the wage adjustment decisions should be entrusted to the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards. 

“There is a need for more comprehensive initiatives encompassing education, training, and business environment improvements to foster long-term growth and job creation,” Lopez said. 

PHOA serves as a significant presence in the bustling Philippine tourism sector, bringing together hotel owners, investors, and developers. With 60 respected member companies that own 206 operating hotels all over the country. 

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