House approves bill increasing paid leave credits

Jove Moya

THE House of Representatives, with a vote of 197-0 with zero abstention, approved on third and final reading Tuesday, March 3, a measure seeking to double to 10 days the mandated paid leave credits of private sector employees.

House Bill 1338 will amend Article 95 of the Labor Code, which mandates a service incentive leave (SIL) of five days with pay every year for employees who have rendered at least one year of service.

Baguio Representative Mark Go, who authored the bill, said the current law does not require companies to provide its employees with sickness and vacation leaves.

"An employee who has rendered at least one year of service is entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay. However the same code provides that an employer who grants employees with vacation leaves of at least five days shall already be deemed compliant with the mandatory granting of the service incentive leave, thereby rendering the mandatory leave credit at a minimum of only five days,” Go said in his explanatory note.

Employees are, thus, forced to take emergency and sickness leaves without pay after the five-day SIL for the year is used up.

Go said the grant of paid leaves is not only beneficial to employees, but economically advantageous for employers as well.

“Such incentives boost the morale and satisfaction of employees which are manifested in increased productivity,” he said.

The bill was approved on second reading last February 20 through a voice vote and will now be sent to the Senate for approval. (SunStar Philippines)