Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has cited several breakthroughs in labor reforms, which she said underscores the push of the DOLE to establish more partnerships among labor, employers, the government, and other key labor and employment stakeholders to ensure that the gains are sustained even after the term of the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum of agreement creating the Private Security Industry Tripartite Council (PSITC), Baldoz said:
“Under the present administration, partnership and cooperation between and among the government, labor, and employers play a vital role in instituting policy reforms. In recent years, notable were the reforms in ensuring speedy, efficient, non-litigious and fair labor justice administration, which brought us to the attainment of industrial peace through the culture of voluntary compliance with labor laws, rules and regulations.”
One of these reforms she cited was the Single-Entry Approach (SEnA), through which 80,830 of 104,698 requests for assistance were settled between October 2010 and 2014, benefitting 117,512 workers with P3.4 billion in benefits.
“Because of the SEnA, small money claims cases have been reduced by 99 percent,” she said.
Another result of the reforms she cited was the fast disposition rate of cases at the National Labor Relations Commission, which in 2014 recorded a 98 percent disposition rate with a 97 affirmance rate from the Court of Appeals and 92 percent affirmance rate from the Supreme Court.
She also cited the continuous decline in the number of notices of strikes and lock-outs, down to 159 in 2014 from 276 in 2010.
“There were only two strike incidence in 2014 and only one case was assumed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, upon agreement yet of the parties,” she said.
She expressed pride the most in the full implementation of the TIPC-supported Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS) which shifted the DOLE’s “inspection” to a more developmentally-focused “compliance” approach.
“Under the previous labor inspection regime, the “police” approach has only alienated both employers and workers from the process of ensuring compliance and cultivated deep-seated distrust at the plant level with our enforcement officers,” she said.
“Today, the DOLE’s 575 Labor Laws Compliance Officers—374 of them new and given by President Aquino III—are slowly but surely earning for the DOLE a new sense of confidence and respect, in the form of increased voluntary compliance with labor laws and occupational safety and health,” she added.
Seven labor groups and eight employers’ organizations form part of the newly institutionalized PSITC to address industry concerns and labor-management relations.
“This is our gift to the security industry sector. With the formation of the PSITC, stability, productivity, and progress to the security sector is assured,” Baldoz said during the signing.
The DOLE chief commended the stakeholders in initiating the PSITC’S creation, a move which she referred as “a manifestation of the collective efforts to address numerous concerns of the private security industry.”
“With the PSITC, we further advocate employment concerns and observe the rights of security guards and similar personnel to just and human work conditions and security of tenure. Thus, this development augurs well to the estimated 664,000 workers employed by more or less 1,800 security agencies in the country, 1,000 of which are based here in the National Capital Region,” Baldoz explained.
Given the peculiarities in labor and employment practices in the private security industry, the government, according to secretary Baldoz, continues to provide responsive and timely regulations in the work engagement of stakeholders in the industry.
According to the labor and employment chief, the impetus for the establishment of the PSITC was the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Aquino III which directed the DOLE to promote not only the constitutionally-protected rights of workers, but also their right to participate in the policy-making process and to work with the private and labor sector to strengthen tripartite cooperation and promote industrial peace.
“Tripartism and social dialogue is recognized as a primary instrument in attaining and maintaining industrial peace. Thus, with the institutionalization of the PSITC, we see progress ahead, with the various sectors sharing the gains of productivity,” Baldoz said.
The PSITC labor sector is composed of the Agap Party-List; Campus Security Management Association of the Philippines; Diwa Party-List; Federation of Free Workers; Guardians Federation of Workers; Philippine Society for Industry Security; and Security Guards Association of the Philippines.
Representing the employers’ sector are the Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators; Federation of Industrial Security Organization of the Philippines; Bank Security Management Association; Accommodation Establishments Security and Safety Coordinating Council; Employers Confederation of the Philippines; Federation of Philippine Industries, Inc.; and Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
The DOLE is joined by the Social Security System; Home Development Mutual Fund; and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, as government sector representatives in the Council.
The PSITC will act as an advisory and consultative body to the Secretary of Labor and Employment and other concerned government agencies. It will solicit and consider sectoral views to provide for the widest possible consultation with workers and employers on matters of common concern within the private security industry; and identify, prioritize and recommend, or propose alternative solutions to critical issues facing the private security industry.
Under the structure, the DOLE Undersecretary for Labor Relations, Social Dialogue, and Internal Affairs, shall be the chairperson of the PSITC, with the Bureau of Labor Relations as the secretariat.
Baldoz enjoined the PSITC to voluntarily undergo LLCS joint assessment.
“Maging huwaran tayo sa pagsunod sa batas upang tularan ng iba pang industriya. Sa pamamagitan din ng PSITC, mas palawakin natin ang pakikilahok sa pagbalangkas at pagsuri ng mga umiiral at bagong polisiya sa paggawa at empleyo,” the Secretary concluded.