SENATOR Grace Poe has warned that more Filipinos may be working their way into an early grave, saying “too much work can kill them” as she cited the latest report that more than eight-million Filipinos are overworked.
In filing Senate Resolution 316, Poe sought a legislative inquiry into the dramatic rise in the number of overworked Filipinos—employed persons who work for more than 48 hours a week—in the past 20 years.
She recommended a comprehensive review of company policies requiring employees to work excessively long hours, an overhaul of labor laws, and passage of legislative measures to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed “just and humane work conditions.”
The Philippine Statistics Authority, based on the report on Decent Work in the Philippines, indicated that there were some 8.105-million overworked Filipinos in 2015 in primary jobs in a country of 105 million people.
She said this represented an increase of 41.2 percent or an additional 2.363 million from 5.742-million overworked Filipinos recorded in 1995.
Employed persons 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.
“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,” said Poe.
Poe said a comprehensive review of company policies requiring employees to work excessively long hours should be undertaken.
Furthermore, she said plans to overhaul labor laws and propose legislative measures were necessary to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed “just and humane work conditions.”
“It is very necessary to give importance to work-life balance because the world of our workers does not only revolve around their work. While they need to earn, there’s no place for abuses in their lives,” she said.
In this way, they can focus more on their self, healh and family, she added.
Poe, citing the PSA study, said more than half of the total workers with excessive hours of work were wage earners and salaried workers.
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, Poe said.
“It may also be connected to the reduction of the productivity of workers,” the PSA report noted.
An article from the British Medical Journal concluded that “overwork can kill” based on several empirical and follow-up studies on workers from different sectors.
Also, a book by sociologist Randy Hodson titled Dignity at Work said overwork was one of the major obstacles to human dignity in the workplace.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by The Standard. Comments are views by thestandard.ph readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of thestandard.ph. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with The Standard editorial standards, The Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.