By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Labor and Employment has endorsed the plenary approval of a bill, mandating golf clubs to provide health, retirement, and other benefits to golf caddies, and other service workers through a shared contribution scheme.
The panel, chaired by Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma approved the committee report on House Bill 7066, principally authored by Baguio Rep. Mark Go.
“As we are aware of, a caddie is not usually an employee of a private club or resort. They are classified as an independent contractor, meaning he or she is basically self-employed and does not receive any benefits or perks from his or her association with the club,” Go said.
“In some clubs and resorts, caddie programs are being implemented, however benefits are rarely offered. Considering the nature of their work, these independent workers are vulnerable to some health hazards,” he said.
Go noted that there are around 93 golf courses in the country, mostly concentrated in Luzon and more than a hundred caddies who worked in a particular golf club, excluding other service workers.
Under the bill, the management of every golf club shall enlist all regular and accredited golf caddies and golf related workers who are rendering their service to the players of the golf club.
It provides that enlisted golf caddies and other service workers of a golf club shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) upon their enrollment by the golf club management.
The payment of SSS and Pag-IBIG monthly contributions shall be jointly shared by the golf caddies and other service workers, and by the Golf Club Management in accordance with existing rules and regulations.
The bill tasks the golf club management to ensure Philhealth coverage for its enlisted caddies and other service workers and to implement a shared monthly contribution.
The golf club management shall also devise and institute a mechanism for the collection of monthly contributions from the caddies and other service workers that will form part of the total monthly contribution for SSS, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth.