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430K hotel, resto workers should get 100 percent of service charge —Pimentel

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Reelected Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Saturday said he wants the country’s more than 430,000 hotel and restaurant workers to get 100 percent of the service charges collected by their employers.

“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,” the lawmaker said in a statement.

“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 employees are the ones directly providing the generous service to hotel and restaurant patrons, so the workers deserve the extra earnings,” Pimentel said.

He 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.

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%) 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.”

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.

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