Why it is ABSOLUTELY wrong for Filipino workers to expect tips

Tipping is a sad relic of American culture that Filipinos have embraced. Indeed, Filipino workers have gone further and perverted the concept by seeing tips as an entitlement rather than a mere pleasant surprise bonus from happy customers.

Most disturbing of all is how “activists” encouraged people to tip workers on, of all occasions, labour day. Labour day, after all, is a celebration of the dignity of the worker. Dignity of labour is premised on one taking pride in a job well-done. Unfortunately, labour “activists” have turned the occasion into one focused on compensation. Thus the whole point behind celebrating labour has turned away from the underlying honour in doing an honest day’s work into one about entitlement beyond the worth of one’s work.

Filipino labour activists have completely lost the plot.

Filipino leftists and hipsters have made “low wages” a primary issue of labour. This is, however, not the case. The low value of wages in the Third World is not the issue. It is more a symptom of issues to do with worker productivity and the quality of their output. The low quality of Philippine products, for example, is legendary. Indeed, the biggest irony of all is in the way the very hipsters who issue cliché Labour Day slogans on Twitter are the very ones who shun Philippine products and embrace Western brands like lemmings running off a cliff.

The Philippine economy of course runs on the back of a free market. There is an indisputably strong case for consumers preferring foreign products and brands over their local counterparts. Philippine industry quite simply lacks the level of innovation and standards of quality applied to the production and marketing of its products and services evident in the world’s top brands. Thus where there is weak demand, there is less leverage to command higher prices in a free market.

Then there is the enormous numbers of Filipino workers competing for employment. An enormous supply crushes the value of that supply. One labour “activist” laments how employers can “afford” to pay their workers more but prefer not to. That attitude is so wrong on many levels. A worker is not entitled to wages any higher than what an employer opts to legally pay her. A worker can only earn a raise — not demand it.

It’s simple, really.

If you do not get that salary raise you’ve been asking for, it means your employer does not consider you worth the additional expense and regards you as an easily replaceable commodity.

Deal with it. We signed up to the free market, and we should live by the free market. The only way Filipino workers will get better wages is if they become better more productive, and more competitive workers. Yet, instead, we see workers who find no shame in asking for tips and demanding that cash be enclosed in those obnoxious “Merry Christmas” envelopes they give out every year. It’s because labour “activists” encourage that distasteful behaviour.

Filipino activists need to face the truth: their traditional Labour Day rhetoric is unhealthy to the national work ethic and, worst of all, intellectually dishonest.

[Photo courtesy Inquirer.net.]


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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8 Comments on "Why it is ABSOLUTELY wrong for Filipino workers to expect tips"

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Raul Jimenez de Vera Jr.
Raul Jimenez de Vera Jr.

“Tipping is a sad relic of American culture that Filipinos have embraced.” — couldn’t have said it better myself. In my case, if I see that the establishment is already charging me 10% service charge, I don’t leave any tips anymore. If not, I leave whatever or whenever I can.

Tipping is a manifestation of your appreciation of a good service done…I sometimes tip. It depends, if I get a good service or not. This gratuity is not a right, but a privilege, for those, who are in the service sector. To include it as part of the pay, is ridiculous. Some service business, includes this gratuity in their bill. Say, 5% to 10% of the bill…if this is included in the bill : you don’t have to tip. Those in the service sectors are receiving low pay. So, if you are able, share what you have to them. It… Read more »
As a westerner living in Manila it gets extremely tiring having to deal with people shamelessly asking for ‘tips’ or ‘extra’ for each and every shoddy service they provide. I dread mentioning i have travelled even to the end of the street as people you barely know will shamelessly ask for a gift, Christmas is a period of punishment indeed. I have zero respect for people who act without shame and usually my response shows such contempt. Pinoys would cry blue murder if they were targeted like this when they traveled abroad. Here is a tip for you, if you… Read more »

there are many occasions though that employers simply use and abuse employees, even if they can afford salary increases to deserving staff.


THEY SHOULD HAVE THEIR SALARIES TRIPLED AND STOP WORKING FOR $10/DAY for the USA Banks that are such scumbags that they will not pay an American citizen $10/hour with medical benefits and pay Filipino’s $10/day when the banks are posting record breaking billions of USDollars in profits, JUST STOP ALREADY, EE-GAD MON HAVE YOU NO SHAME ?

The whole idea that a worker gets low pay because s/he is payed what the employer thinks s/he is worth is not black and white. It sounds nice in theory – but isn’t necessarily the case. According to that logic, humans are sold and bought for whatever the buyer thinks the human is worth. The commodification of life and everything else is often based on making profits/ getting a good deal. Should a child who is trafficked be bought for 1,000 pesos? Whether one is “worth” what is payed is subjective. According to capitalist theory, if one buys a human… Read more »
Aphetsky Lasa

“The low quality of Philippine products, for example, is legendary.”
This is so typically colonial. Typically Filipino.


Pride is pride not because it hates being wrong, but because it loves being wrong: To hate being wrong is to change your opinion when you are proven wrong; whereas pride, even when proven wrong, decides to go on being wrong.

The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is the pretense of intelligent ignorance. The former is teachable; the latter is not.