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House bill on service incentive leaves OK’d on second reading

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Congress-House of Representatives
AFP

By Charmaine A. Tadalan

A BILL that aims to increase the service incentive leave for employees to 10 days from five days hurdled second reading at the House of Representatives (HoR) last Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Voting viva voce, the chamber approved on August 15 House Bill 6770, which seeks to amend Article 95 of Presidential Decree No. 442, Labor Code of the Philippines.

If enacted, employees who rendered at least one year of service will be granted a total of ten days of service incentive leave every year with pay.

Baguio City Representative Mark O. Go, principal author of the bill, said the measure aims to boost the “morale and satisfaction of employees” to increase productivity.

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“At present, our laws do not require employers the granting of sickness and vacation leaves,” Mr. Go said in the explanatory note of his proposed bill.

“What the Labor Code provides instead are service incentive leaves,” he also said. The bill was sponsored by House Labor and Employment Committee chair Randolph S. Ting.

The bill further provided that the 10-day service incentive leave shall no longer apply to employees already enjoying a 10-day paid vacation leave.

Workers in establishments that operate with less than 10 employees will also not benefit from this bill.

It also retained the provision allowing employers to grant benefits in excess of the ten-day period without their being subjected to any administrative action.

The proposed measure, however, did not “sit well” for employers.

“I keep on saying the social policy direction is wrong. Do things to increase purchasing power rather than destroy our ability to compete,” Employers Confederation of the Philippines President Donald G. Dee told BusinessWorld in a phone message, Sunday.

“We need jobs, jobs, and more jobs,” he added.

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