Press Release
March 10, 2017


"Too much work will kill you."

Sen. Grace Poe issued this stern warning as more Filipinos may be working their way into an early grave.

Poe filed Senate Resolution 316 seeking a legislative inquiry into the dramatic rise in the number of overworked Filipinos--employed persons who worked for more than 48 hours a week--in the past 20 years.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), 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, which 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. Further, plans to overhaul labor laws and propose legislative measures are necessary to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed "just and humane work conditions."

"Napakaimportanteng bigyang halaga ang work-life balance dahil hindi lamang sa trabaho umiikot ang mundo ng ating mga manggagawa. Bagama't kailangang kumita, walang lugar ang pang-aabuso sa kanilang karapatan. Sa ganitong paraan, mas mapagtutuunan nila ng pansin ang kanilang sarili, kalusugan at pamilya," said Poe.

More than half of the total workers with excessive hours of work were wage earners and salaried workers, according to the PSA study.

"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.

An article from the British Medical Journal conclusively stated 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 is one of the major obstacles to human dignity in the workplace.

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