MANILA—Alarmed by a report that said that over eight million Filipinos were overworked, Sen. Grace Poe on Friday sought for a probe on the rise in the number of Filipinos who work for over 48 hours a week.
Under Senate Resolution 316, Poe proposed to conduct a legislative inquiry into the increase in the number of overworked Filipinos in the past 20 years.
Her measure wants a comprehensive review of company policies requiring employees to work excessively long hours.
It also plans to overhaul labor laws and propose legislative measures are necessary to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed “just and humane work conditions.”
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), based on the report on Decent Work in the Philippines, indicated that there were some 8.105 million Filipinos in primary jobs who were overworked in 2015, which represented an increase of 41.2 percent or an additional 2.363 million from 5.742 million overworked Filipinos recorded in 1995.
The same report showed that employed Filipinos with excessive hours of work per week in all jobs were around 8.845 million in 2015, higher by 4.5 percent or 378,000 from the 8.467 million in 2005.
It also showed that more than half of the total workers with excessive hours of work were wage earners and salaried workers.
“Excessive hours of work is one of the primary indicators of decent working time. Having more than the usual hours of work may interfere with the balance between personal life and work, may increase injury hazard risks, may signal an inadequate pay, and in the long term, pose a threat to workers’ physical and mental capacity to work. It may also be connected to the reduction of the productivity of workers,” the PSA report noted.
Poe said that this data was worrisome noting that Filipinos may be working their way into an early grave.
“Several studies have shown that excessive work hours could trigger serious health problems and even cause death. Chronic overworking, as various research suggest, can lead to threatening levels of stress,” Poe said.
She stressed the need to have work-life balance noting that a British Medical Journal conclusively stated that “overwork can kill.”
“We should give importance to work-life balance because our lives do not revolve around our jobs. Although there is a need to earn, there is no room to abuse their rights. This way, they will have more time to give importance to themselves, their health and their families,” she added.