Productivity incentive bonus for private sector workers sought

July 30, 2013 11:35 am 

MANILA, July 30 — The proposed grant of an annual productivity incentive to all workers in the private sector is one of the vital measures awaiting consideration by the 16th Congress.

“Since the labor sector is a primary social economic force, the State is mandated by the Constitution to protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare,” Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, authors of HB 1376, stressed.

The Constitution states that “the State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable return on investments, and to its expansion of its growth.”

In filing the measure, the Arroyos noted that current labor and management relations are characterized in general as confrontational when discussing and settling basic and significant issues affecting wages.

“As a result, the productivity expected both from labor and management suffers and results in a lower level of competitiveness which threatens survival of an enterprise,” they said.

The younger Arroyo said the bill granting “Productivity Incentive Bonuses” to laborers in the private sector is a recognition of their indispensable contribution to the success of business enterprises.

“Likewise, it seeks to promote and provide measures for the mutual benefit and industrial harmony between labor and management,” he said.

Workers’ rights to uplift and improve their lives as well as management’s rights to a reasonable return on their investments are satisfied through their cooperative endeavors,” the Pampanga lawmaker said.

The bill states that “all workers in the private sector regardless of their employment status and not excluded by this Act shall be granted an annual productivity incentive bonus which shall be equivalent to not less than ten percent (10 percent) of net profits before taxes gained by any company or business establishment for every fiscal year that engages labor, skills and expertise for any period or duration, provided that they have worked for at least one month during the calendar year.”

“If the employee worked for only a portion of the year, the productivity incentive bonus shall be pro rata,” the bill further states.

The proposed statute does not cover government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters; managerial employees; house helpers; non-resident aliens; workers who are paid by results as determined by the Secretary of Labor in appropriate regulations; workers employed by retail establishments employing not more than five workers; employees or workers in companies or enterprises undergoing receivership/liquidation; and those employed in new business enterprises.

Application for exemption shall be filed with the Office of the Regional Director of the DOLE whose decision can be appealed to the DOLE Secretary within ten days from its promulgation.

Violators shall be directly liable to the affected worker for thrice the accrued grant plus moral damages not exceeding P30,000 for each affected worker and imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than two years and including the costs of litigation and attorney’s fees. (PNA)



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