Poe seeks probe into why more Filipinos work longer hours
Working too much can be deadly.
Warning of the perils of overwork, Sen. Grace Poe has called for an inquiry into “substantial rise” of Filipinos who spend too much time on the job, seen to be detrimental to health.
Through Senate Resolution No. 316, Poe sought for a legislative investigation into why the number of Filipino workers who work more than 48 hours a week – or beyond the ideal eight hours per day – have nearly doubled over the last 20 years.
“Too much work will kill you,” Poe said in a statement issued on Friday.
“Several studies have shown that excessive work hours could trigger serious health problems and even cause death,” she said. “Chronic overworking, as various research suggest, can lead to threatening levels of stress.”
Incidents over recent years show the dangers of working for stretched hours, including the sudden death of young professionals in Indonesia and China in 2013 after working overtime for extended periods.
In December 2015, a Japanese advertising agency worker killed herself after putting in hundreds of hours in overtime.
In the Philippines, more than 8.1 million Filipinos were known to have worked for excessive hours in 2015, a 41.2 percent increase from the number of overworked workers in 1995, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA data further showed that 80 percent of overworked workers came from the services sector.
By worker class, the PSA found that wage and salary workers accounted for 52.6 percent of those who clocked in more work hours than they should have.
Under Republic Act No. 1880, working hours for those in government is eight hours day, exclusive of lunch break, or a total of 40 hours per week. While there is no similar mandate for the private sector, the eight-hour work day is considered universally ideal, according to Poe’s office.
In her resolution, Poe said the state should ensure “just and humane work conditions” for workers as provided for in the 1987 Constitution. She called for a comprehensive review of company policies that require excessively long work hours.
“Having a work-life balance is very important because the lives of our workers do not just revolve around work,” she said. “While they need to earn a living, there is no place for the abuse of their rights.”
“This way, they would be able to give time to themselves, their health and their families,” she said. /atm
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