Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday hailed President Benigno S. Aquino III’s signing of Republic Act No. 10741, which provides for the strengthening of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
“We welcome this auspicious development this 2016 in the labor arbitration front. The workers and employers will be assured of faster, more efficient and effective resolution of labor disputes, now that the NLRC can assign or transfer Labor Arbiters to Regional Arbitration Boards with high inflow of cases,” Secretary Baldoz said.
Republic Act No. 10741, signed on Jan. 12, amends Articles 220 and 222 of the Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines.
The new law increases the number of Commission Attorneys assigned to each NLRC Commissioner to five from the current three.
Under the NLRC’s organizational operations, the Commission Attorneys assist the eight divisions of the NLRC in its appellate and adjudicatory functions.
Baldoz also lauded the timely enactment of the law as it keeps in step with the advancements in the industry. “With the increased economic activity in some regions, the number of labor cases would sometimes increase. Thus, there is a need to deploy additional Labor Arbiters in the said region, if necessary,” the Secretary added.
RA 10741 removes the prohibition on assigning Labor Arbiters to the functions of the Commission Attorney or to the office of any Commissioner.
It also removes the requirement that Labor Arbiters be appointed to a specific arbitration branch and the preference that they be residents from a particular region.
“The additional Commission Attorneys will allow the Commission to resolve more cases as well as thoroughly review appealed cases to enhance their acceptability to litigants and hopefully to avert further appellate recourses to Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. A strengthened NLRC can respond to the clamor of both labor and management for faster, fairer, more effective resolution of labor disputes,” Baldoz said.
NLRC Chairman Gerardo C. Nograles expressed his gratitude to Secretary Baldoz for her steadfast support to the passage of RA 10741. Nograles also commended Baldoz’s “untiring guidance, support and confidence given to NRLC.”
“It is, indeed, full speed ahead for NLRC’s pursuit for reforms. I am sure that they will further raise the bar of their performance, as I have enjoined them during their recent 41st Founding Anniversary to make a positive impact in the lives of smallest workers through the judicious implementation of their anti-corruption roadmap.
The five-pillar roadmap, crafted as a major reform of the NLRC, calls for speedy, fair, accessible, inexpensive and effective dispute settlement or resolution; consistent, predictable, and transparent dispute resolution; elimination of perception of corruption; improvement of quality of decisions; and maintaining industrial peace through speedy and efficient enforcement of judgment.
The National Labor Relations Commission, an attached agency of the DOLE which was recently certified as an ISO 9001:2008 agency, is a quasi-judicial body that is tasked promote and maintain industrial peace by resolving labor and management disputes involving both local and overseas workers through compulsory arbitration and alternative modes of dispute resolution.