Senate ratifies bill giving 100% service charge to employees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Rank-and-file workers in the hotel and restaurant sector may soon look forward to fully receiving service charge after the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report  on the Service Charge bill Tuesday night.

Should the House of Representatives ratify the same before the 17th Congress adjourns next week, the bill would be submitted to the President for signing into law.

Currently, the Labor Code states that service charges collected by hotels, restaurants and other establishments should be distributed at a rate of 85 percent to covered employees and 15 percent to the management.

Should the bill be signed into law, 100 percent of the service charge will go to the employees, not the management.

Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development chair Joel Villanueva said that they have received several complaints from employees on how the above mentioned split is distributed in reverse, with employees only getting 15 percent.

"Maraming mga datos tayo, maraming mga survey, maraming mga complaints, even establishments in Quezon City na baliktad pa nangyayari, 15 percent nakukuha ng waiters, tapos 85 percent nakukuha ng management," Villanueva said.

[Translation: We have data, surveys and complaints, some from establishments in Quezon City, that say the reverse is happening. Waiters get 15 percent, while management gets 85 percent.]

Management, Villanueva explained, has been using the 15 percent to augment salaries, or cover breakage and pilferage costs.

The Senate is expected to ratify the bicameral conference committee report on Thursday.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.