The graveyard shift at Philippine call centers might not seem so grim if a new proposed bill is passed, exempting overtime and night shift workers from taxation during those hours.
The House Deputy Majority Leader and Makati City Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay have presented House Bills 2836 and 4682 to make this change and raise the standard of living for workers that find themselves stuck with less desirable schedules.
In the Philippines, official work hours are limited to eight hours per day and forty hours per week, with overtime pay of up to an additional 30 percent kicking in beyond that. The night shift differential is computed when work is scheduled between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., with a rate of 10 percent of the worker’s normal wage added on to their income.
Under the current system, the bonus for these two conditions is added into the income pool, which is then taxed as a whole. The proposed bills would dictate that only the normal wages are taxed, and additional bonuses are left as just that – bonuses, not subject to taxation.
The refined law is intended to improve the standard of living for workers by strengthening their purchasing power and general comfort. Adversaries of the bills argue that the reduced taxes would strain government funds and result in “deleterious effects.” However, supporters refute the notion that funds would disappear and instead the missing government income would be shifted to sales tax generated by people with more money in their accounts that now have the ability to spend more on consumer products.
With little expense to the government, the new system would allow more freedom for citizens to enjoy more fulfilling lives as well as raise morale in the workplace. Happier workers lead to better effects throughout the entire economy.
Workers in call centers are an important example of employees that would benefit from the new solution. Domestic and international companies outsource this type of work to the Philippines (among other countries) all the time, with the expectation of around-the-clock availability. Why not reward these workers for their efforts and sit back to watch the positive effects radiate throughout the country.