Bill requiring PH hotels, restos to give 100% of service charges to employees closer to becoming law

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MANILA, Philippines — The bill that would require hotels, restaurants, and establishments to give all collected service charges to their employees has inched closer to becoming a law.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed on second reading Sen. Joel Villanueva’s Senate Bill No. 1299 or “An Act Providing that 100% of the Service Charge Collected in Hotels and Other Establishments Be Distributed to All Covered Employees and for Other Purposes.”

The proposed legislation seeks to repeal Article 96 of the Labor Code of the Philippines that mandates the distribution of 85 percent all collected services charges to employees and 15 percent to management.

Villanueva said he was “elated” by its passage and he was hoping that the bill would be passed on third and final reading before the Senate ends its session on December 13.

“The enactment of this measure will be the perfect Christmas gift to our hotel and restaurant workers,” Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, said in a statement issued Wednesday.

During the interpellation last Tuesday, Sen. Franklin Drilon asked whether contractual and agency-hired workers would also be covered in the proposed measure.

Villanueva replied that under the bill, all workers whether regular, contractual, or agency-hired would be entitled to 100-percent service charge “as long as the said workers are the ones who directly deliver the service to their customers.”

“This proposed measure seeks to address the injustice brought upon our hardworking workers in the service industry who provide the actual service, but rarely get their proper share in collection,” Villanueva added.

Villanueva said that 2014-2017 data from the Department of Labor and Employment show that 621 out of 212,641 inspected establishments nationwide violated labor provisions on service charge after failing to show proof that they distributed their collected service charge to their employees.