Businessworld, March 02, 2017
MORE THAN 8.8 million Filipinos in 2015 clocked in more than 48 hours a week, classified as excessive by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a recent report.
This number makes up 22.8% of the total 38.7 million employed in 2015, but lower than the 8.4 million recorded in 2005. The trend from 2005 to 2015 showed that workers with excessive hours have declined from 26% a decade ago.
Angelo B. Taningco, an economist with Security Bank Corp., attributed this decrease to the rise in real wages which removes the need for workers to work longer hours.
“Because of the increase in real wages, which was P335 per day in 2009 to P363 per day in 2015… fewer workers are working longer hours because they are able to address their basic needs,” Mr. Taningco said.
The services sector accounted for 73.5% of the jobs with excessive work hours, with 13% from agriculture and 10.5% from the industry sector.
“It shows that there are more jobs in the service sector, since the Philippines has been becoming more service-oriented over the past decade,” said Mr. Taningco.
By way of contrast, 8.1 million Filipinos with only one primary job logged more than 48 hours in a week, for an average of 41 hours of work per week. This shows a one hour difference from workers with more than one job, who on average work 42 hours per week.
The data also revealed that wage and salary workers made up the bulk of employees working excessive hours, accounting for 52.6% in 2015, three steps higher than 49% in 2005. On the other hand, 38.5% self-employed workers also worked longer hours.
The normal hours of work should not exceed 8 hours per day over a five-day week, unless a company requires its employees to work for a sixth day, for which they are entitled to additional compensation of 30% of their salary, according to the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Excessive hours may increase injury hazard risk and in the long term threaten a worker’s physical and mental capacity to work, according to the PSA.
“In the long run if this continues, then the employees would self-deteriorate. It is important that this be lowered,” Mr. Taningco said. — Arra B. Francia