The congressional bicameral conference committee has approved a measure that would grant restaurant and hotel employees 100 percent access to service charges collected from customers.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, said the bicam panel agreed to adopt Senate Bill 1299, which proposes that restaurant and hotel workers, whether regular, contractual, or agency-hired, would be entitled to a 100 percent service charge as long as they would directly deliver service to their customers.

“Restaurant and hotel workers would be entitled to a 100-percent service charge as long as they would directly deliver the service to their customers.”

The House version, meanwhile, proposes a 90 percent share for rank-and-file and supervisory employees in the total service charges being collected by hotels, restaurants and similar establishments.

Villanueva, author of SB 1299, said restaurant and hotel workers were given only 85 percent of the total tips collected from customers while management retained the remaining 15 percent.

The seasoned legislator said the sharing distribution has not changed since it became law in 1975.

After more than 40 years, ngayon ‘yung service charge ay 100 percent na mapupunta sa ating workers (finally the charge would be given 100 percent to workers). We were able to thresh out the difference between the version of the House and the Senate,” the veteran lawmaker stressed.

The senator said that at present, management gets 15 percent of the service charge proceeds to answer for losses or breakages. 

“At present, management gets 15 percent of the service charge proceeds.”

However, he said, if there were no losses or breakages the 15 percent is the management’s prerogative for disposition or distribution among managerial employees.

Villanueva further noted that service charge is just a small portion of the total income of an establishment and it deserves to be given to employees who are the ones actually providing service to customers. 

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