House committee backs bill empowering caddies
The bill seeking to provide health, retirement, and other benefits to independent caddies in all golf clubs in the country, including those in Baguio and Benguet, got an endorsement at the Lower House.
The House committee on labor and employment approved on Feb. 10 House Bill 1343 authored by Baguio Rep. Mark Go, who earlier noted that most of the independent caddies have no access to employee benefits.
Caddies in major golf clubs in Baguio and Benguet are not regular employees and are therefore not entitled to Social Security System, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig, as well as retirement benefits.
Go said caddies are also vulnerable to some health hazards and other job-related risks, which warrant their entitlement to the benefits received by regular employees.
When the bill is signed into law, golf club managements will be required to accredit golf caddies and other related service workers, who render services to players of the club.
More than 90 golf courses operate in the country today, most of which are located in Luzon.
The golf clubs in the locality are Baguio Country Club, Camp John Hay, and Pinewoods Golf and Country Club.
Caddies are the ones who assist golfers by carrying their bags, clubs, and other equipment, and in most cases, give insightful advice and moral support to a golf player.
Caddies are 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.
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. – Harley F. Palangchao