The Senate on Tuesday passed on second reading 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” under Committee Report No. 189 amending Article 96 of the Labor Code of the Philippines.
"We are elated that the Senate passed on second reading our proposed measure after hurdling and finishing both the period of interpellation and amendments this afternoon. We hope to pass this bill before we end our session on December 13. The enactment of this measure will be the perfect Christmas gift to our hotel and restaurant workers," said Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.
During the interpellation, Sen. Franklin Drilon raised the concern on whether contractual and agency-hired workers will also be covered in the proposed measure.
Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the bill, said that all workers whether regular, contractual, or agency-hired will be entitled to 100% 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 stressed.
Villanueva then cited a data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showing that from 2014-2017, 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.
The senator, moreover, underscored the need to legislate the proposal into law to give hotel and restaurant workers what is rightfully theirs for providing quality service to their customers, and that the proposal will benefit both the workers and employers.
Further, Villanueva expressed gratitude to his colleagues for swiftly acting on the passage of the bill.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank my esteemed colleagues for all of your insights, opinions and proposals that were given today, as well as during yesterday’s session. Ikinagagalak po natin ang inyong pakikilahok sa pagpapatibay at pagpapaganda ng panukalang batas na ito," Villanueva said.
"Nawa’y maisabatas po natin ito sa lalong madaling panahon upang maging mas masaya ang Pasko ng ating mga kababayan, at maging mas masagana ang pagpasok ng kanilang bagong taon," Villanueva concluded.