Labor policy reform measures
TIPC gives nod to two new DOLE legislative proposals

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) has given its approval to two new proposed legislative and policy measures during its plenary meeting held last week at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Diliman, Quezon City.

“This brings to seven the draft legislative measures the TIPC has endorsed to the 16th Congress. Last year, the TIPC approved for endorsement five priority bills endorsed last year and it has approved two more during our meeting last week,” said Baldoz.

The first draft legislative proposal the TIPC approved during the meeting is the “Union Registration Bill”, or “An Act Further Strengthening Workers’ Right to Self-Organization, Amending for this Purpose Articles 234, 235, 236 and 237 of Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, As Amended.”

“This bill seeks to reduce the minimum membership requirement for registration of independent unions from 20 percent to 10 percent and reduce the registration requirement for federation from 10 to 5 duly recognized bargaining agent-local chapters,” Baldoz explained, adding that this will be a big boost to unionism in the Philippines if enacted into law.

DOLE Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, TIPC Vice-Chair, said the union registration bill
seeks to align the Philippine Labor Code on registration requirements for independent unions and labor federations with ILO Convention No. 87, or the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention.

The second legislative proposal the TIPC had approved for endorsement to Congress is the “Labor Market Test Bill”, or “An Act Amending Articles 40, 41 and 42 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, As Amended.”

This bill improves the rules on the employment of non-resident foreign nationals by specifying penalty provisions for foreign nationals who shall take up employment in violation of the rules, and making employers liable in the engagement of services of a foreign national without an employment permit.

The TIPC, according to Undersecretary Chato, had earlier endorsed to the 16th Congress the following: (1) “Apprenticeship Bill” or “An Act Reforming the National Apprenticeship Program and Providing Regulatory Standards for the Training of Apprentices, and for Accreditation of the Programs, Thereof”; (2) “PESO Bill”, or “An Act Defining the Role of DOLE and LGU on the Establishment”; (3) “OSH in the Construction Industry Bill”, or “An Act Institutionalizing Occupational Health and Safety of Workers in the Construction Industry”; (4) “Voluntary Compliance with Labor Laws Bill”, or “An Act Fostering a Culture of Voluntary Compliance with Labor Laws, Amending for the Purpose Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines”; and (5) “Appeal of NLRC Decisions to the Supreme Court Bill”, or “An Act Providing for Appeal of the Decisions of the National Labor Relations Commission To The Supreme Court, Amending for this Purpose Articles 223 and 224 of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

“The TIPC has also approved two significant issuances, namely, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10524 (Employment of Persons with Disabilities) which requires that at least one percent of all positions in government agencies, offices, or corporations shall be reserved for PWDs; and the Revised Rules on Private Recruitment and Placement for Local Employment which prohibits the collection of placement fees and streamlines the administrative procedure in disposing recruitment violations, among others,” Baldoz further explained.

Since Baldoz assumed office as DOLE Secretary, she has strengthened tripartism as a main pillar of labor governance.

“Our policy of tripartism and social dialogue, as reflected in the TIPC structure, serves as a firm foundation for our continuing efforts in fostering inclusive growth and industrial peace in the country through the active engagement of both workers and employers in the decision and policy-making processes of the government,” Baldoz said.

The TIPC is the highest Constitutional advisory body to the Secretary of the DOLE. With Baldoz as labor and employment chief, she had not issued any policy without tripartite consensus, demonstrating her highest regard to tripartism and social dialogue as a means to foster industrial peace.

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