A pro-administration lawmaker on Saturday vouched for the immediate approval by the House of Representatives of the bill mandating establishments to give 100 percent of the service charges they collect from customers to qualified workers.
Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said 430,000 hotel and restaurant workers will benefit from the bill if it were enacted into law.
“We will push for an amendment to the Labor Code provision that currently sets aside for covered workers only 85 percent of the service charges collected by hotels and restaurants,” Pimentel said.
At present, Article 96 of the Labor Code provides that: “All service charges collected by hotels, restaurants, and similar establishments shall be distributed at the rate of eighty-five percent (85 percent) for all covered employees and fifteen percent (15 percent) for management. The share of the employees shall be equally distributed among them. In case the service charge is abolished, the share of the covered employees shall be considered integrated in their wages.”
“It is only fair for hotel and restaurant employees to get 100 percent of the collections from service charges, whether these are included by the establishment in the customer’s tab, or freely given by the patron on top of the guest check,” Pimentel said.
The country has a total of 27,028 hotels and restaurants in the formal sector that employ a combined 433,260 workers, Pimentel said, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s latest Annual Survey of Business and Industry.
He said, “The employees are the ones directly providing the generous service to hotel and restaurant patrons, so the workers deserve the extra earnings.”
Pimentel said his proposal, once enacted, would give meaning to the mandates of the Constitution for the State to provide full protection to labor, afford workers a living wage, and advance their welfare in recognition of their role as a primary social economic force.
Pimentel also wants to impose a punitive fine of up to P100,000 per violation on employers who fail to promptly remit to their workers their full share of the service charges.
Without any penalty in the existing law, Pimentel said many hotels and restaurants that collect service charges as part of the customer’s tab are not complying with their obligation to give workers their 85-percent share.