'Distribute full service charge to workers'

THE Western Visayas Alliance of General Employees and Solidarity (Wages) is urging hotel and restaurant owners to voluntary comply with the 100 percent service charge distribution to all rank-and-file employees as mandated by the recently signed law.

Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 7, Republic Act 11360 is a measure providing service charges collected by hotels and restaurants and other similar establishments be distributed in full to all covered employees.

It amended Article 96 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, giving restaurant and hotel workers only 85 percent of the service charge collected from customers while retaining the remaining 15 percent to the management.

Wages spokesperson Ronald Ian Evidente, in a statement, said employers must voluntarily distribute 100 percent of the service charge to its employees with transparency and honesty.

Evidente said even before this law was enacted, they received complaints from hotel and restaurant workers claiming that their employers do not fully comply with the 85 percent service charge employees' share.

"Further, employers do not disclose their actual service charges collection," he added.

The group will launch an information dissemination to their members and non-unionize workers of local hotels and restaurants regarding the full distribution of service charge.

It will also lobby for the creation of grievance mechanism and assist employees in filling general labor standard cases against violators, the statement said.

Wages is an alliance of workers in Western Visayas promoting the economic wellbeing of non-unionize and contractual employees in different workplaces like construction, security agency, hotel and restaurants, wholesale and retail, food and beverages and general services, it added.

Earlier, the Hotel and Restaurant Association in Negros Occidental (HRANO) said the new law will only affect few restaurants and hotels in the province.

Roberto Magalona, president of HRANO, said most of the restaurants and hotels in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are not imposing the 10 percent service charge from the customers.

Magalona said Negrense clients, unlike those in Manila where the costs of products and services are high, are not used to service charge.

They (customers) will complain if local restaurants and hotels collect such additional charge, the association official said.

"Though only few establishments are collecting service charge, they are required to follow the law and I am sure they will comply," he said, adding that by practice, local hotels and restaurants allow their workers to receive tip from customers.


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