The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 9160 which seeks to mandate golf clubs to provide social security and welfare benefits to golf caddies and other related service workers through a shared contribution scheme.
The bill principally authored by Rep. Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City) mandates that the management of every golf club shall accredit golf caddies and other related service workers who are rendering service to players of the golf club.
Golf caddies and other related service workers of a golf club shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) upon their accreditation by the golf management.
The payment of the SSS, Pag-IBIG Fund and PhilHealth monthly contributions shall be jointly shared by the golf caddies and other related service workers, and the golf club management in accordance with existing rules and regulations.
Golf caddies and other related service workers shall also be entitled to retirement benefits as provided under Republic Act No. 8282, otherwise known as the “Social Security Law”, and other existing laws.
The golf club management shall devise and institute a mechanism for the collection of the SSS, Pag-IBIG Fund and PhilHealth monthly contributions from golf caddies and other related service workers.
Go said a golf caddie is one who assists a golfer by carrying his bag, clubs, and other equipment, and in most cases, gives insightful advise and moral support to a golf player. He is usually aware of the challenges and obstacles within a particular golf course and also knowledgeable with the best strategy in playing it which includes determination of overall yardage, appropriate pin placements and club selection.
“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 that he or she is basically self-employed and does not receive any benefits or perks from his association with the club. 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,” said Go.
He said there are around 93 golf courses in the country with concentration in the Luzon area. And there are more than a hundred caddies who worked in a particular golf club, excluding other service workers. These caddies undergo a certain training usually provided by the club management and are subject to the club’s rules and regulation on caddie service, said Go./ Joselito Menorca/ News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ House of Representatives of the Philippines