The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to increase to 10 days the mandatory five-day service incentive leave (SIL) for qualified employees provided for under the Labor Code of the Philippines.
With an overwhelming 273 votes, lawmakers approved House Bill (HB) 988, which seeks to amend Article 95, as amended, of Presidential Decree 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines to specifically increase the service incentive leave with pay given to every employee who has rendered at least one year of service.
Under the bill, service incentive leave will not apply to the following: those who are already enjoying this benefit, those enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least 10 days, and those employed in establishments regularly employing less than 10 employees or in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor after considering the viability or financial condition of such establishment.
Under the present 19th Congress, the bill was authored by Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Rep. Mark Go, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Miguel Luis Villafuerte, Tsuyoshi Horibata, Nicolas Enciso, Juan Fidel Nograles, Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy, Charisse Anne Hernandez, Keith Micah Tan, Allan Ty, Christopherson Yap, Munir Arbison Jr., Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Christopher de Venecia, Paolo Duterte, Edcel Lagman, Romeo Acop, Bonifacio Bosita, Carl Cari, Edwin Gardiola, Gerville Luistro, Khymer Olaso, Rodolfo Ordanes, Florida Robes, Geraldine Roman, Roman Romulo, Ma. Alana Santos, Jeffrey Soriano, Leody Tarriela, Jocelyn Tulfo, Patrick Vargas, and Loreto Acharon.
“At present, our laws do not require employers the granting of sickness and vacation leaves. These work incentives are given based on the prerogative of the employers either by express stipulation on the employee’s contract or through collective bargaining agreement. What the Labor Code provides instead are service incentive leaves [SIL],” Go said in the explanatory note of the bill.
“With the increase in the number of leave credits in the form of sick or vacation leaves left purely at the discretion of employers, employees constrained by limited leave credits are left vulnerable to sickness, emergencies, and other fortuitous events that would cost them a day of paid work. The granting of paid leaves is not only beneficial to the employees but economically advantageous for employers as well,” he added.
Go said such incentives “boost the morale and satisfaction of employees which are manifested in increased productivity, and minimize the risk of health and safety issues among employees, which may even be more costly for both employees and employers in the long run.”
A similar measure has been approved by the House in the 18th Congress and was transmitted to the Senate for its consideration and approval.
However, due to the lack of material time, the proposed measure was not enacted into law.
Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila