by Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA — A group of hotel and restaurant workers on Thursday welcomed the enactment of Republic Act 11360 or the Service Charge Law, which mandates the full and equal distribution of service charges collected to rank and file and supervisory employees of hotels, restaurants and similar establishments (HRSEs).
In a statement, the National Union of Workers in Hotel Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN) noted that the law’s signing is another milestone in their campaign for the equal distribution of collected service charge to rank and file and supervisors of HRSEs.
“This new law will raise the take-home pay of workers of HRSEs that collect service charge, but unfortunately will not benefit those employed in establishments that do not collect service charge,” said Daniel Edralin, secretary-general of the NUWHRAIN, which is affiliated with the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggawa (SENTRO).
“Nonetheless, the NUWHRAIN-SENTRO thank and salute the two main sponsors of the bill, Senator Joel Villanueva and Rep. Sherwin Tugna, as well as the active support of AKBAYAN’s Senator Risa Hontiveros and Rep. Tom Villarin, and TUCP PL (Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Party-list) Rep. Raymond Mendoza, towards the bill’s passage by both Houses of Congress,” he said.
At the same time, Edralin, concurrent chair of SENTRO, said that they are also counting on the support of the lawmakers on the mandatory collection of 10 percent service charge in all HRSEs, for the benefit of all workers in the industry.
“Furthermore, since the law does not benefit contractual workers, their help would be needed in convincing other lawmakers on the urgency also passing a stronger law that would finally end the practice of endo,” Edralin added.
The group had supported the filing of a new Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill by Hontiveros on Tuesday.
The new bill contains the prohibition on fixed-term employment to prevent labor-only-contracting, which was removed in the version of the watered-down SOT bill vetoed by the president.
The version of the Senator also contains stiffer fines and incarceration for violations.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the RA 11360, within 60 days from the effectivity of the law.
The law amends Article 96 of the Labor Code, which provides that only 85 percent of the collected service charges should be distributed to workers, while 15 percent will go to the management.
It was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 7. (PNA)