To operationalize these constitutional policies and statutory mandates, DOLE has set up a number of key programs. First is the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), a multi-service facility which offers employment referral services, both local and overseas, and employment enhancement or employability enhancement trainings. PESOs serve as referral and information centers for the various services and programs of government, provide the public with adequate information on employment and the labor market situation, network with other PESOs within the region and nationwide for job exchange purposes, and bring government services closer to the public through active participation of local government units. Support programs for the PESO include undertakings such as job fairs, livelihood and self-employment bazaars, national manpower registry, special programs for employment of students, work appreciation program and youth weekend brigades, and livelihood and household workers centers.
The Special Program for Students (SPES) is a joint undertaking of the DOLE, DepEd and the Department of Finance (DOF). SPES aims to develop the intellectual capacities of children of poor families and help poor but deserving students pursue their education by encouraging their employment during summer and/or Christmas vacations and providing income to finance/augment/subsidize their studies.
TULAY program (Tulong Alalay sa Taong May Kapansanan) is a special program for PWDs. (Reference may be made to pars. 103-104) TULAY is a program of the Bureau of Local Employment which aims to assist in the integration of PWDs into mainstream society by providing them access to training and employment opportunities both in the formal and informal sector.
In 1999, the CSC adopted the Memorandum Circular on Equal Representation of Women and Men in Third Level Positions. The Circular provides for: (a) the nomination and appointment of both women and men to third level positions; (b) the maintenance of a pool of qualified women and men nominees for every vacant third level position in government; and (c) the encouragement of a 50-50 representation of either sex in third level positions, as may be deemed practicable.
The 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) adopts a framework for supporting employment generation with the following elements : (a) Adopt the philosophy of free enterprise; (b) Focus on high-value jobs; (c) Microeconomic strategic measures; (d) Improve productivity; and (e) Attract investments. To complement the employment agenda, the government pursues programs meant to generate, preserve, enhance, and facilitate employment. Employment generation involves creating directly or indirectly, employment opportunities in the domestic labor market. Employment preservation entails harmonious worker-employer relationship and maintaining existing jobs with remunerative terms and conditions, to include industrial peace, shared decision making mechanisms and mutual trust and confidence. Employment enhancement involves improved competence, productivity, work values, work conditions/occupational safety and health, remuneration and welfare. Employment facilitation entails facilitating access to employment opportunities and alternatives, including overseas work.
2.c. Measures adopted to ensure that work is productive as possible
The Government has adopted the following approaches aimed towards promoting organizational productivity of employees. There are also special measures adopted which aim to provide relief to working women who traditionally perform multiple roles in the household.3
Human Resource Development
The first approach is human resource and manpower development. The Government promotes and maintains full and productive employment through improved training and effective allocation and utilization of manpower resources. Republic Act 7796  which provides for the creation of TESDA, was enacted to assist in the attainment of this objective.
Section 7 of RA 7796 creates the TESDA Board to formulate and coordinate a fully integrated technical education and skills development program. The Board is composed of representatives from the Government, industry groups, trade associations, employers and workers.
Section 27 of the law provides for appropriate incentive mechanisms, including tax incentives, to encourage government and private entities to implement high quality technical education and skills development opportunities.
Republic Act No. 7686, adopting the Dual Training System in technical and vocational education, complements the work of TESDA. The system institutionalizes the partnership between the private sector industry and training institutions in the development of skilled manpower.
The two most important performance indicators of TESDA include the number of technical education and vocational training graduates and the number of workers whose skills standards were either assessed or certified. For CY 2003, TVET graduates in both the public and private institutions exceeded the one million target. For the same year, assessed graduates and workers totaled 232,823 while the skills of 109,443 workers were certified.
For state workers, HRD interventions include scholarship programs for academic and certificate courses and short-term skills enhancement programs, behavioral and value development programs, as well as distance learning. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) grants one-year scholarships to state employees on no-work-full pay status towards completion of a baccalaureate degree or a masters degree in public administration. Between 1994 and 2000, 4,300 employees have been granted scholarships for master’s degree; 586 for bachelor’s degree completion and over 6,000 for skills upgrading. Overall more than 300,000 state workers at different levels were provided training opportunities in 2000 under CSC-administered programs.
The DepEd implemented the National Computer Literacy Programs for teachers, administrators and support staff under the modernization program for teachers.
Employment Facilitation and Placement
Established in 1992, the PESO is intended to maximize private sector and local government participation in the development, operation and maintenance of a registry of manpower, skills and vacancies for effective job-matching. In 1992 alone 75 PESOs were established all over the country. As of May 2004, there were 1, 765 PESOs established in different areas of the country, of which 1, 531 were deemed fully operational. Through the PESOs, 3, 540, 111 job applicants were placed locally and overseas from 1999 to May 2004. Placed applicants to various companies totaled 3, 285, 960 out of 4, 973, 858 registered applicants. On the other hand, from January to April 2004 alone, PESO has placed 217, 529 job-seekers for local and overseas employment. (Reference may be made to par. 110.)
In an effort to continuously expand the concept of the PESO, DOLE, in coordination with the private sector, launched in 1998 a computerized system for matching job vacancies for job placements, known as Phil-Jobnet. Under this scheme, participating enterprises enroll their vacancies and skills needs in a computerized network, making job market information available at any time. Together with the PESO, the Phil-Jobnet is seen as a vital part in the package of long- term solutions to eliminate job mismatches which, in turn, undermines productive employment.
The Phil-Jobnet is automated labor market information and job-skills matching facility designed to shorten the duration of job search by employment seekers as well as the filling up of vacancies by employers. As of July 28, 2004, the Phil-Jobnet has posted over 415, 075 vacancies from 2, 429 firms, and registered some 379, 759 job seekers nationwide.
Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the 1995 Migrant Workers Act, governs the recruitment placement and social protection of overseas Filipino workers. Under the Act, the Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA) regulates recruitment and placement activities. A significant policy shift under the Act is the principle of selective deployment with the recognition that “the ultimate protection to all migrant workers is the possession of skills.” As such, the Government deploys and/or allows the deployment only of skilled Filipino workers. Also, the law provides for the deployment of workers only in countries where the rights of migrant workers are protected.4
Section 2 (g) and Section 4 are preventive responses to the persistent incidence of abuses, which Filipino workers suffer while abroad.
The placement and facilitation services of the POEA resulted in the deployment to various destinations abroad of 660,122 Filipino workers in 1996, 747,696 in 1997, 831,643 in 1998 837,020 in 1999, 459,832 from 2000 to 2002, and 867,969 in 2003. Total remittances amounted to over US$4.2 billion in 1996, over US$5.7 billion in 1997, over US$4.9 billion in 1998, over US$6.7 billion in 1999 and over US$1.1 billion in January and February 2000 and US$ 7,640 billion in 2003.
The Labor Code provides for the minimum standards of employment, including wages, hours of work, rest days, overtime and night pay, safety and health standards, among others. In particular, The Code also provides for the creation sets up the State Insurance Fund, which provides for compensation and rehabilitation benefits in case of employment-related contingencies or accidents. These standards, which will be discussed in more detail under subsequent headings, are intended not only to ensure an environment for productive work, but also to implement the constitutional provision that the State shall ensure just and humane conditions of work.
The Philippine Constitution guarantees the rights of workers to organize and to bargain collectively, as well as to participate in policy and decision-making processes directly affecting them. Book V of the Labor Code, which was substantially amended in 1989 through RA 6715, is the enabling law in the implementation of this policy.
Article. 211 of the Code expressly recognizes collective bargaining and industrial democracy as the preferred modes of defining labor-management relations. Article 275 of the Code declares tripartism as the labor relations policy of the State, while Art. 277 lays down the legal basis for the government to undertake promotional activities, including labor education and technical assistance, to improve productivity, working conditions, quality of work life and cooperation between employers and workers. The Government considers tripartism as an integral part of public governance. In April 1991, the government became a party to ILO Convention No. 144 (Tripartite Consultation, 1976). In 1990, a Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) was established through Executive Order No. 403. The TICP serves as an advisory body to the President and to the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
Protection against Unjustified Dismissal
Article 279 of the Labor Code assures the right of workers to security of tenure. As such, an employee may not be dismissed except for a just cause or when authorized by law, i.e., closure of business operations or redundancy of the employee’s position. Article 277 (b) of the Labor Code provides for the twin requirements of notice and hearing prior to termination of employment. The employee may contest the legality of his dismissal before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
As regards security of tenure for government workers, Sec. 2(3), Art. IX-B of the Constitution provides that no officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. This provision is reiterated in Sec. 46, Chapter 7, Sub-Title A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987. Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656 (An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization) reiterates the same provision and requires due notice and hearing prior to dismissal.
Republic Act 6971, otherwise known as the Productivity Incentives Act of 1991, encourages the promotion of industrial peace and higher levels of productivity by providing incentives to both labor and capital. Section 6 of the Act encourages productivity incentives programs and sets the guidelines in the determination of profit-sharing and productivity bonuses. Section 7 of the Act provides for benefits and tax incentives to those enterprises that adopt productivity incentives programs. Also, expenses incurred on training programs and special studies of rank-and-file employees entitle the sponsoring enterprise to tax incentives.
The DTI has specialized training centers and regional offices that conduct skills and livelihood training in the following areas: gifts and housewares; garments and accessories; chemicals, electronics and telecommunications; metal engineering; construction manpower services; agro and forest-based activities; and for wholesalers, retailers, cooperatives, managers and supervisors.
The Cottage Industry Technology Center offers training on the following livelihood programs: dressmaking, flower making, bag making, holiday décor, novelty items, homemade paper, food processing, handloom weaving, basketry and pottery. TESDA conducts training on non-traditional skills development, including: furniture and builders woodworks, woodworking, machine operation, maintenance and millwrighting, basic welding technology, gifts and houseware, and community-based craft production.
The DSWD administers the Productivity Skills Capability Building for Disadvantaged Women Program. The program provides skills training for women in sewing, rattan and toy crafts, food processing and preservation, ceramics, loom weaving, and home aide service. It also provides opportunities for women to enhance themselves, improve their understanding of maternal and personal care, participate in community activities, and develop their communication skills.5
The Women’s Business Council of the Philippines sponsors entrepreneurial development courses for differently-abled women and business improvement and survival courses for women-entrepreneurs. Graduates of these programs were found to be more assertive and self-confident, more active in community activities, more decisive and more aware of their rights as women and entrepreneurs.
The TESDA Women’s Center was established in 1998 to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic status of women through training, research and advocacy. The Center conducts technology-based training and empowerment/social skills training that cater to the urban poor women, women from the rural areas, women youth, returning women migrant workers, wives of overseas workers/seamen, and women displaced workers.6
Other activities that aim to improve productivity are as follows – (a) dissemination of knowledge/technology to the rural poor; (b) increasing budgetary support to Research and Development and field extension work; (c) extensive promotion of mariculture activities with mangroves and fish sanctuaries; (d) government financial institutions’ financing for state universities & colleges demonstration projects like those provided by the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines; and (e) free patent search for dissemination to small-medium enterprises.
2.d. Measures adopted to ensure that there is freedom of choice in employment
The Philippines is a State party to the core ILO Conventions on equality of opportunity and treatment as well as on non-discrimination. The general policy statements in the Constitution and the Labor Code demonstrate the government’s commitments to the principles embodied in these Conventions.
Article 135 of the Labor Code prohibits discrimination in respect to the terms and conditions of employment on account of sex. Article 136 prohibits discrimination by reason of marriage while Art.137 prohibits discrimination on account of pregnancy. The Code also imposes penalties for violations of these provisions.
However, the Labor Code allows certain forms of discrimination based on biological or other relevant considerations.7
Republic Act 6725 strengthens the prohibition of discrimination against women with respect to terms and conditions of employment, promotion and training opportunities.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, government agencies have established their respective Committees on Decorum and Investigation to address complaints of sexual harassment within their respective offices. These Committees are tasked to identify the different acts and forms of sexual harassment, provide for rules concerning the disposition of cases and provide for the proper penalty depending on the form and gravity of the offense.
For the private sector, DOLE requires compliance with certain provisions of the law ,including the posting of a copy of the law within office premises, promulgation of company policy on sexual harassment and the creation of a Committee on Decorum and Investigation to handle cases of sexual harassment.
2.e. Technical and vocational training programs
As indicated above, the Government’s human resource development program, particularly technical- vocational education and training (TVET), is lodged with the TESDA.
TVET aims to enhance the employability and productivity of Filipinos and, in the long run, reduce the incidence of poverty.
TESDA is mandated to formulate a comprehensive development plan on TVET which rests on a reformed industry-based training program. Through the program, TESDA aims to promote the protection and welfare of the worker or trainee, improve the quality and social accountability of technical education and skills development, accelerate the employment generation efforts of the government and expand the range of opportunities available to the populace beyond the traditional higher levels of formal education.
As the authority on technical education and skills development, TESDA plays the role of overall manager of the TVET sector. The sector is generally defined in terms of its components. The structural and administrative elements of TVET in the Philippines broadly consist of the following:
The school-based system – This provides courses of one to three years duration for young people who have completed a full secondary education. This sub-sector is dominated by private institutions, which produce 90 per cent of graduates.
The non-formal or skills or skills development sub-sector or the center-based programs –This provides courses of training for a wide range of clients including the out-of-school youth, the unemployed, existing workers seeking to upgrade their skills, women seeking to enter the workforce, and returning overseas workers seeking to gain skills for entrepreneurship or skills in demand.
In Industry-based training and industry partnerships – This refers to a range of training arrangements, which are in place. This also involves agreements between enterprises and training providers for a combination of on-and-off-the job training.
The apprenticeship programme and the dual training system fall under this category. The industry-based programs also cater to industry workers for increased productivity.
Community-based sector training – The community-based programs are training programs specifically designed to answer the needs for skills training of community with the end view of creating self-employment. Target beneficiaries include the poor and the underprivileged individuals (out-of-school youths, unemployed adults), marginalized sectors (subsistence farm workers and fisher folks), and economic groups (informal sector) in a community. This kind of training provision is usually provided by the local government units and community groups or non-government organizations. 8
In the performance of its mandate, the TESDA also implements and supervises basic vocational manpower guidance programmes. These programs aim to channel the country’s manpower to high demand occupations, promote career awareness and planning, and develop work attitudes and habits. Some of these programmes also include values development.9
Private sector involvement in is even more important because it is the firm which has the greatest possibility of discerning technological advancements and external developments that may impact on the conduct of its business. As such, the enterprise is in the best position to determine the need for skills retooling, retraining and responding rapidly to enable quick adjustment to the labor market.
Private sector involvement in technical and vocational education is crucial. Many industries have invested in training facilities. Many others also support training through on-the-job training, donations and skills definitions.10
TVET are carried out through both formal and non-formal means. From more than 286,000 in 2001, school-based TVET enrolment rose to about 439,000 in 2002 and reached almost 492,000 in 2003. Enrolment of community-based training programs also accounted for the bulk of training outputs almost 492,000 in 2003. Enrolment of community-based training programs also accounted for the bulk of training of training outputs almost 600,000 enrollees from 2001-2003.
Latest data showed that the provision of TVET through formal means is dominated by the private sector (82 per cent per cent). The exact opposite could be observed in terms of nonschool-based training with publicly-funded institutions accounting for 64 per cent of all providers. There are about 2,045 private institutions/centers and 1,353 publicly funded TVET. These comprise the total TVET delivery networks that includes higher education institutions, industry-based training centers, NGO-based training centers, LGU-based training centers as well as schools and training centers supervised by TESDA. Private institutions account for about 80 per cent of total enrolment in formal TVET financed almost exclusively by tuition fees and endowment income, with minimal government subsidy.
Executive Order No. 358, s. 2004, provides the mechanism to bridge the gap between TVET education and higher education. EO 358 mandates TESDA and CHED, in consultation with concerned sectors, to implement a unified national qualified qualifications framework. The framework aims to establish a ladderized system which would allow easier transition and progression between TVET and higher education. The framework encompasses various unified qualification and articulation mechanisms which include: National System of Credit Transfer, Post-TVET Bridging Programs, System of Enhance Equivalency, Adoption of Ladderized Curricula/Programs, Modulized Program Approach, Competency-Based programs, Network of Dual-Sector Colleges or Universities and Accreditation of Prior Learning, among others.
Also, TESDA, in collaboration with the industry, holds skills competition, such as the National Skills Olympics, to promote quality skills development and with the view of participating in international skills competition.11
The TESDA Women’s Center (TWC) takes pride in being the country’s lone TVET training institution with world-class facilities that addresses exclusively the empowerment of women. 12
2.f. Difficulties encountered
The difficulties encountered in attaining the objectives of full, productive and freely chosen employment can be traced to nagging structural defects of the economy in general, and of the labor market in particular. The pressures of globalization, if not managed well, are also seen to hinder the attainment of these objectives. The macro-economic indicators discussed above should place these difficulties in context.
In the informal sector, marginal labor standards in work conditions adversely affect the attainment of a state of productive employment. It can also be noted that unemployment and underemployment are prevalent in the agricultural sector, mostly due to the seasonality of work. Low labor and land productivity also pose complex problems.
In the formal sector, the most common negative factors include wage levels and benefits, limited job choices, limited access to basic services, limited bargaining power of workers and perceived weakening of unions, and the increasing incidence of contractualization and flexibilization.
These difficulties are being addressed by the Government through several reform programs, including -- (a) various protection programs and labor standards in the areas of labor contracting and labor flexibilization, anti-sexual harassment, safeguards against women discrimination and child abuse, programs for differently-abled persons and senior citizens, among others; (b) special programs for overseas contract workers which prioritize the protection of women workers in the so-called dirty, demanding and dangerous occupations; (c) short-term measures which help alleviate the plight of landless and rural workers including the intensified implementation of the agrarian reform program, special skills development program, promotion of cooperatives among workers and protection programs for child workers; and (d) emergency employment, social safety nets and economic adjustments that cushion the negative impact of globalization and deregulation and other new economic programs aimed at stabilizing the economy in the medium and long term.
TVET is faced with several challenges that need careful scrutiny and attention. Some of the issues that the sector must look into include the following:
Social Bias against TVET. A 1991 report by the Congressional Commission on Education showed that societal bias and stigma had been attached to TVET. Filipino families aspire that their children finish college and view technical vocational education as only for the less academically inclined.
Absence of direct link between technical-vocational education and training and higher education. Filipinos view TVET as a “dead-end” where career usually stagnates and career growth is hampered by lack of the requisite educational qualifications. To counter this perception, a ladderized interface between TVET courses and college degrees to cater to the varying needs of students and promote upward academic mobility.
Need for measuring the aptitude of the youth. There is a need to guide high school graduates on what college courses to pursue after graduation. A survey that would map out the capabilities and competencies of the students would be useful in career guidance and counseling to help parents and students decide in what course to pursue after high school.
Existence of labor market demand-supply mismatches. There are a large numbers of trained graduates who are left unemployed or underemployed because they do not fit the requirements of the job market. It is quite ironic that a number of job vacancies could not be filled up because the available manpower supply would not fit the job, as confirmed by a graduate Tracer Study conducted by TESDA in 2002. Results show that employment rate of TVET graduates is rather low at 58.28 per cent for training center graduates, 67.73 per cent for TESDA schools and 57.6 per cent for private institutions. Likewise, employed graduates are not able to utilize the skills that they learned, as they are employed in jobs where they are not trained. Skill utilization rate was reported at 80.04 per cent and 77.46 per cent for graduates of training centers, TESDA schools and private TVET institutions, respectively.
Need for more responsive TVET investments. Investments in middle-level skills development has remained focused on direct training provision by national government, which delayed the long-intended devolution to LGUs and private sector. To optimize the use of public investments, there is a need to realign TVET programs to focus only on programs with high market absorption rate.
The country also faces a lot of issues that impinge on technical education and skills development. Among the major issues are as follows:
There is a low cohort survival rate of students, which reflects on the educational qualification of the labor force;
There is a rising displacement of workers due to global and local factors;
The majority of technical-vocational institutions are in the urban areas which limits access of the majority of the clientele who are in the rural areas; and
The problems relating to trainers’ capability, outdated curricula and inadequate budget continue to bear down on the quality of technical education and kill development provision.
In view of the foregoing, TESDA pursues a three-pronged direction to address the above-mentioned issues, viz:
Global Competitiveness – This addresses the skills requirements of export-oriented activities, catalytic industries, industries undergoing adjustments, support industries and overseas employment.
Rural Development – This addresses the need to mainstream the countryside in national development through addressing the skills requirements of economic activities in the rural areas, especially in pursuing technology-based agriculture and fishery development.
Social Integration – This focuses on the development of para-professional and other social development workers to facilitate the delivery and accessibility of social development services; provision of wider range of economic and social alternatives to poor and other disadvantaged Filipinos; and development of intangible social and personal skills
Question No. 3. Discrimination 3.a. Discrimination at work
As a rule, there are no distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences in law, in administrative practices or in practical relationships, between persons or group of persons on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, nationality or social origin.
The only exception is Art. 40 of the Labor Code which regulates the entry of foreign nationals into the employment market. More specifically, Art. 40 requires non-resident aliens seeking admission into the Philippines for employment purposes to obtain an alien employment permit from the DOLE. The issuance of the permit is subject to the “labor market test”, that is, only after determination of the non-availability of a Filipino who is competent, able and willing to perform the service required of the alien at the time such service is needed.
To allow it to fulfill its commitments to the different multilateral institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Government is exploring the possibility of liberalizing Art. 40 in industries or occupations where the expertise of a foreign national is needed, specifically in the maritime, air transport, telecommunication and banking industries, as well as in business and the professions.
In International School Alliance of Educators v. Quisumbing, (G.R. No. 128845, 1 June 2000), the Supreme Court of the Philippines declared discriminatory the grant of higher salaries for foreign hires to the prejudice of local hires. The Court in its decision said that Art. 7 of the ICESCR “impregnably institutionalizes in this jurisdiction the long honored truism of equal pay for equal work. Persons who work with substantially equal qualifications, skill, effort and responsibility, under similar conditions should be paid similar salaries. This rule applies to the School, its international character notwithstanding.”
3.b. Non-discrimination regarding vocational guidance and training
Philippine laws and policies on technical and vocational guidance and training, employment and occupation apply to all persons regardless of their race or ethnic origin, color, sex and religion.
3.c. Preference for employment of Philippine nationals
The preference for employment of a Philippine national over an alien is not considered discriminatory both in law and practice, owing to the nationalization policy of the Constitution and to the realities of the employment market.
Question No. 4. Part of the working population which holds more than one full- time job
There is no available information on the proportion of the working population that holds more than one full-time job in order to secure for themselves and their families an adequate standard of living. An inference, however, can be drawn from the incidence of underemployment, which as of 1999 stands at 22.3 per cent.
More than 50 per cent of women works full time or worked less than 40 hours per week. In 1989, the proportion of women working full-time was 62 per cent and in 1999, the rate shrunk to 60 per cent. The visibly underemployed women increased from 36.4 per cent in 1989 to 38.1 in 1999.
Question No. 5. Changes in legislation and policies affecting the right to work
The three major laws passed during the reporting period which affected the right to work are as follows -- TESDA law, the Dual-Tech Law, and the Migrant Workers Act. The Supreme Court has consistently upheld as a valid exercise of police power the regulation by the Government of the outflow of overseas Filipino workers. In 1989, in one case, the Supreme Court sustained a ban imposed by the Secretary of Labor against the deployment of domestic helpers abroad as this was done to safeguard the welfare of this particular group of workers. In 1994, the Supreme Court likewise upheld the authority of the Secretary of Labor to prescribe minimum age and skills requirements as preconditions to the deployment of performing artists.
Other major legislative changes that may be cited are the following:
EO 180 series of 1987 that governs the right of public sector employees to organize.
RA 6715 or the 1989 New Labor Relations Law.
RA 6727 or the 1989 Wage Rationalization Act.
RA 6725 of 1989 that strengthened the prohibition on discrimination against women.
RA 6971 or the 1990 Productivity Incentives Act.
RA 7641 or the 1992 New Retirement Law.
RA 7655 prescribing a minimum wage for house helpers.
RA 7699 of 1994 which mandates the limited portability scheme in Social Security Insurance Systems.
RA 7877 or the 1995 Anti-Sexual Harassment Law.
RA 7875 or the 1995 National Health Insurance Act.
Department Order No. 26 series of 1995 that provided for integrated guidelines in accessing the funds of the workers organization and development program.
RA 8187 or the 1996 Paternity Leave Act.
RA 8291 or the 1997 New Government Service Insurance System Act.
RA 8282 or the 1997 New Social Security Act.
RA 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000
RA 9231 or an Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child, Amending for the Purpose
RA 7610, as amended, otherwise known as "The Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination.”
RA 9178 Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002
RA 9257 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003”
The executive branch also issued rules and guidelines implementing the foregoing laws. Among the most important issuances by the DOLE in the area of industrial relations are:
EO 330 series of 1994 adopting the expanded higher education equivalency accreditation program
Department Order No. 18 series of 1995 relating to the training, testing, certification and registration of vulnerable workers
Department Order No. 21-95 and Department Order No. 18 series of 1995 rationalizing the conditions, requirements and procedures for deployment of performing artists
Department Order No. 09 series of 1997 liberalizing the registration of unions and other forms of workers organizations
Department Order No. 18 series of 2002 on the new rules on subcontracting
Department Order No. 10 series of 1997 on the new rules on subcontracting
Department Order No. 19 and Memorandum Circular No. 19 series of 1997 requiring training, testing, certification and registration of domestic helpers bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
Department Order No. 14 series of 2001 on guidelines governing the employment and working conditions of security guards and similar personnel in the private security industry
Department Order No. 65-04 on Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9321 Amending R.A. 7610, as amended.
The direction of judicial decisions interpreting these laws and regulations has been to affirm the constitutional policy of protection to labor and the primacy of the police power in cases where workers are exposed to employment conditions which tend to give rise to exploitation.
Question No. 6. International assistance in the full realization of right to work
The World Bank financed Vocational Training Project II which aims to support government efforts to create an environment conducive to investment and employment generation.
Article 7 Question No. 1. ILO Conventions to which the Philippines is a party
The Philippines is not a State Party to the following Conventions:
ILO Convention No. 106 (Weekly Rest [Commerce and Offices]), 1957;
ILO Convention No. 132 (Holidays With Pay [Revised]), 1970;
ILO Convention No. 81 (Labor Inspection), 1947;
ILO Convention No. 129 (Labor Inspection [Agriculture]), 1969; and
ILO Convention No. 155 (Occupational Safety and Health), 1981.
But as will be detailed in the succeeding discussion, the Labor Code provides for : (a) a mechanism for minimum wage fixing; (b) a rest day of at least 24 hours after six consecutive days of work; (c) holidays with pay; (d) occupational safety and health standards taking into account distinctions between hazardous and non-hazardous occupations; and (e) an inspectorate system to ensure enforcement of standards.
The Philippines is a party to the following Conventions:
ILC No. 100 (Equal Remuneration), 1951;
ILC No. 99 (Minimum Wage-Fixing [Agriculture]), 1951; and
ILC No. 176 (Safety and Health in Mines), 1995.
The Philippines has submitted its reply to ILO’s 1998 direct request on Convention 99 concerning minimum wage-fixing machinery (Agriculture) for the period ending August 2002. The report provided the ILO with a table on the “Nominal Minimum Wage Rates by Sector and Region and a table on “Employed Persons by Major Industry Group, Class of Worker and Hours Worked” (DOLE Publication Factbook on Labor and Employment (as of June 2002).
Moreover, the detailed report provided to the ILO contained updates on the recent implementation of RA 6727, Wage Rationalization Act, as amended by RA 8188 or the Double Indemnity Act and other provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines concerning minimum wage rates.
The Philippine government has also submitted its detailed report to the ILO on Convention 100 concerning Equal Remuneration last August 2001. The report provided the ILO with more recent information on the implementation of RA 6725 and other laws and regulations relative to the Convention.
The Philippines ratified Convention 176 concerning safety and health in mines on 27 February 1998. For the period ending August 2002, the Philippine Government has submitted its first detailed report to the Committee. The Committee was provided with a list of laws, regulations and other measures made by the Government in compliance with the provisions of the Convention.
Question 2. Wages 2. a. Principal methods used for fixing wages
The principal methods for fixing wages are minimum wage fixing and collective bargaining.
Minimum wage fixing has been conducted on a regional basis since 1989 by 17 independent Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs). Republic Act 6727, otherwise known as the Wage Rationalization Act, provided for the creation of the RTWPBs and placed them under the supervision of DOLE.
The State recognizes collective bargaining as the preferred mode of setting the terms and conditions of employment, including wages. Collective bargaining is primarily governed by Book V of the Labor Code, as amended by RA 6715. However, it must be noted that wages fixed through collective bargaining must not be lower than the applicable minimum wages fixed by thertwpb.
Public sector wages are governed by RA 6758, otherwise known as the Salary Standardization Law of 1989, which provided for a unified compensation and position classification system for all job positions across the entire bureaucracy, including LGUs, based on the principle of equal pay for substantially equal work. Salary rates are fixed by legislation.
Collective bargaining in the public sector is a recognized mode for negotiating terms and conditions in the work place, except those that are fixed by law, including wages. As such, welfare-related benefits, such as annual medical examinations, work assignment of pregnant women, facilities for differently-abled personnel, first aid medical facilities and day care for employees’ children, may be negotiated.
2.b. Minimum wage-fixing
Wage-fixing was originally a function of the legislature. During the martial law period (1972-1981), minimum wage fixing was done through presidential decrees or wage orders issued by the President. As discussed above, with the enactment of RA 6727, wages were determined by the independent RTWPBs which have representatives from labor, business, and government sectors.
Household or domestic helpers, and persons employed in the personal service of another, including family drivers, are exempted from the provisions of RA 6727. The law also exempts retail and service establishments regularly employing not more than 10 workers from the provisions of the law.
There are 11 criteria for minimum wage fixing under RA 7627 and one under the Rules of Procedures for Minimum Wage Fixing as determined by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC). These criteria may be categorized into four groups, namely -- (1) Needs of workers and their families – (a) demand for living wage, (b) wage adjustment vis-à-vis CPI, (c) cost of living and changes therein, (d) needs of workers and their families, and, (e) improvements in standards of living; (2) Capacity to pay of employers/industry – (a) fair return on capital invested and to pay of employers and (b) productivity; (3) Comparable wages – (a) prevailing wage levels; and (4) Requirements for national development – (a) need to induce industries to invest in the countryside, (b) effects on employment generation and family income, (c) equitable distribution of income and wealth along the imperatives of economic social development.
2.b.1. Weight of minimum wages and measures undertaken to secure against erosion
Minimum wages have the force of law for all covered enterprises. Its enforcement is monitored and ensured through the inspectorate system established by the DOLE. Inspection may be done upon complaint by an interested party or through routine inspection. To ensure effectiveness of the inspectorate system, an employer is under the obligation to provide the Government with “access to the employer’s premises at any time of the day or night, whenever work is being undertaken therein, and the right to copy therefrom, to question any employee, or to investigate any fact, condition or matter which may be necessary to determine violations …of any wage order ” (Art. 128.a, Labor Code).
If a violation of a wage order is established, the DOLE has the power to issue compliance or restitution orders. An indemnity equal to the amount of underpayment shall be imposed on an enterprise found in violation of a wage order.
As has been stated above, salary emoluments and allowances for public sector employees are determined through legislation. Thus, any salary increases are applied across-the-board. Since the unified compensation system took effect in 1989, salaries in government were increased in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 (comprising a four-tranche increase) and in 2000. Budget legislations, likewise, carried provisions for periodic increases in allowances (cost of living, representation and transportation allowances for position levels from division chiefs and higher).
Actual salary rates for LGUs not classified as urbanized may differ from the national benchmark, based on their classification and financial capacity. Pay rates of LGUs classified as sixth class (the lowest) up to second class are determined as per centages of the salary schedule (between 75 per centper cent and 95 per cent per cent of the corresponding rates applied to national government agencies and first class LGUs).
2.b.ii. Needs of workers vis-a-vis economic factors
Article 124 of the Labor Code provides for ten benchmarks or indicators in fixing wages, namely: (a) the demand for living wages and wage adjustment vis-à-vis the consumer price index; (b) the cost of living and changes or increases thereon; (c) the needs of workers and their families; (d) the need to induce industries to invest in the countryside; (e) improvements in standards of living; (f) the prevailing wage levels; (g) fair return on investments and capacity to pay of employers; (h) effects on employment generation and family income; and (i) equitable distribution of income and wealth along the imperatives of national development.
The objective of providing workers and their dependents with a minimum standard of living is weighed against the goals of creating employment, encouraging investments and promoting global competitiveness. The erosion in purchasing power is also considered in the estimation of possible minimum wage adjustment. In turn, the impact of such an adjustment on inflation is estimated to determine whether or not the resulting inflation would be well within targets. Econometric models are used to determine or assess the possible impact of any wage increase.
Since 1989, minimum wages have been adjusted each year, generally to maintain real wages. In 2001-2003, however, minimum wages were not adjusted to minimize job losses brought about by the economic downturn. Also, it was only in 2005 that new minimum wage orders were issued in less than a year of effectivity of the previous wage orders due to abrupt and unusually high prices of commodities.
2.b.iii Machinery for fixing, monitoring and adjusting minimum wages
The first two tiers in the structure for implementing the wage system are the NWPC and, under it, the rtwpbs. The NWPC formulates policies and guidelines on wages, incomes and productivity improvements at the enterprise, industry and national levels. It reviews wage orders issued by the rtwpbsand exercises technical and administrative supervision over them. It also serves as the consultative and advisory body to the President and Congress on matters relating to wages, incomes and productivity.
The third tier in the wage-fixing machinery is monitoring and enforcement. The Regional Offices of the DOLE, particularly the inspectorate system, constitute the frontline enforcement mechanism on wages. Where underpayment of wages is claimed and employer-employee relationship no longer exists, the appropriate complaint may be filed through the government’s compulsory arbitration machinery, the NLRC.
2.b.iv. Development of average and minimum wages
Data from the NCR show that minimum wage has increased by 189.1 per cent from PhP 64.00 in 1987 to PhP 185.00 in 1997. Recent wage adjustments in NCR pegged the minimum wage to PhP 250.00 per day effective November 1, 2000. On the other hand, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 187.6 per cent during the period 1987-1997.
The minimum monthly compensation for government workers increased from PhP 1,103 (PhP 603 basic rate + PhP 500 cost of living allowance) in 1987 to PhP 5,840 (PhP 4,840 basic rate + PhP500 Personal Economic Relief Allowance + PhP 500 additional compensation) in the year 2000. Additional allowance (PhP 1,000.00) was granted to government workers in 2006.
2.b.v. Measures undertaken to ensure compliance with minimum wages
Based on inspection data, the incidence of non-compliance to minimum wages has been about 21.8 per cent from 1997-2003. There are current efforts to enhance public awareness on the applicable minimum wage rates in all regions. To improve enforcement, there is also an on-going study to simplify regional minimum wage structures that currently vary by province, sector or industry classification, employment size and amount of capitalization, among others.
2.c. Discrimination in work employment
The Philippines has ratified ILC No. 100, which seeks to eliminate discrimination in employment based solely on sex or gender. The Philippines is also a State party to CEDAW.
Equality of men and women in terms of remuneration for work, equal pay for work of equal value and conditions of work is a constitutional policy. 13
To promote equality of treatment, Art. 135 of the Labor Code makes it unlawful for any employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on account of her sex. RA 6725 criminalizes the commission of certain acts tending to denigrate the status of working women on account of their gender. Article 136 of the Code also prohibits contractual stipulations against marriage and makes it unlawful for employers to withhold benefits from or discharge a woman employee on account of her gender or of pregnancy.
Affirmative measures also exist to respond to the particular needs of women in the workplace. Maternity protection has long been provided to women. The Paternity Leave Act also grants paternity leave for men on the occasion of childbirth of their spouses. Art. 132 of the Labor Code requires employers to provide women with certain facilities like separate toilet rooms and dressing rooms.
Since 1953, the Philippines has been a party to ILO Convention No. 89 (Nightwork Prohibition for Women), which restricts the employment of women at specific periods of the night. Consistent with the Philippines’ obligation under the Convention, Art. 130 of the Labor Code proscribes women from working in certain types of work between 10 p.m. and 6 a. m. The Philippines notes the concerns raised by some sectors that this prohibition may in practice result in reverse discrimination. The ILO has taken note of this concern by initiating a review of international instruments, and the Philippines will be supportive of such review.
Reference may be made to paragraph 179 on the Supreme Court decision in International School Alliance of Educators v. Quisumbing, (G.R. No. 128845, 1 June 2000).
2.c.1. Steps undertaken to eliminate discrimination
To ensure that national laws are carried out in practice, the following measures have been undertaken by the government:
Creation in 1989 by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) of the Equality Advocates in Government to prevent harassment and discrimination in public sector employment.
Integration of the Philippine Development Plan for Women (PDPW) with the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 1993-1998
Setting up by the CSC of Career Advancement Program for Women in Government Service to enhance women in government’s capability to break the glass ceiling and advance to decision-making positions.
The CSC also formulated a policy framework on gender equity in line with a proposed executive order giving women equal representation in third level positions of the government.
Conduct of lectures and workshops on equal employment opportunities in all regions.
Inclusion of gender issues in the enforcement of labor standards, particularly by integrating the same in the inspection checklist.
Sex desegregation of statistics on employment and membership in workers organizations.
Promotion of women participation in trades and other occupations through the setting up of the women in non-traditional trades program under the TESDA.
Conduct of a nationwide occupational wage survey of non-agricultural establishments to address the under valuation and under remuneration of women’s work.
Conduct of studies on frameworks that measure the unremunerated contributions of women and men to the economy.
2.c.iii. Measures to promote objective appraisal of jobs
Republic Act No. 6725 provides that all employees regardless of sex shall be afforded equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work and other factors considered with respect to promotion, training opportunities, study and scholarship grants.
In the public service, the CSC has devised a performance evaluation system that is being used as a standard instrument for measuring job performance. The system is, however, being reviewed to factor in actual job differences and uniqueness or specificity of operations in the various government agencies.
In the private sector, the Labor Code recognizes payment of wages on piece-rate, time or task basis. Such determination can be done with the intervention of government or exclusively at the enterprise level. The Labor Code recognizes two areas of government intervention, as when rates or formulas are fixed on an industry basis after consultations undertaken by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or when the DOLE is requested by an enterprise to provide technical assistance in undertaking time and motion studies upon which an objective job appraisal can be based. At present, only the sugar industry has adopted an industry-wide formula. Generally, however, job appraisal methods are evolved at the enterprise level, although it is not uncommon that the process will entail a comparison of benchmark jobs and the corresponding reward schemes within industries.
Further, researches have attempted to estimate the monetary value of women’s household work and consider its contribution to the total income of the household. A study commissioned by the national women’s machinery revealed that when given monetary value, doing household chores can account for as much as 20 per cent of the GNP. Review of related laws and policies for discriminatory provisions is lacking to ensure equal status of women especially in the light of monetary valuation of their contribution to economic debt. There are, however, no statistical data to measure the exact monetary value of women’s economic work.
2.d. Income distribution of employees
There is no data available on the comparative remuneration of jobs in the public and the private sectors. There is, however, a perception that lower-level public sector employees are paid more than their counterparts in the private sector. On the other hand, middle to high-level executives in the private sector are paid more than their counterparts in the public sector. In a 1994 World Bank research study of public and private sector wage comparisons, the salary of a bureau director in the government is about one fourth of the salary of his counterpart executive in the private sector.
Regarding non-monetary benefits, the basic differences between the private and the government sectors lie in the entitlement to vacation and sick leaves and premium pay for holiday work, overtime and night work. The Civil Service Law grants public sector employees with vacation and sick leaves of 15 days each per year. In addition, Civil Service regulations likewise grants public sector employees a maximum of three days within a calendar year for the availment of any special privileges given (i.e. funeral/mourning leave, graduation leave, enrollment leave, wedding/anniversary leave etc.) On the other hand, in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement or company policy providing a higher benefit, the Labor Code provides a five-day service incentive leave to every private sector employee who has completed one year of service. Overtime compensation is paid to public sector employees in excess of the regular 40 hours of work rendered in a week but with the limitation that overtime compensation shall not exceed 50 per cent of the regular salary. No premium pay is given for holiday work nor for night work.
Question No. 3.: Other legal, administrative or other provisions that exist to prescribe minimum conditions of occupational health and safety
The right of all workers to humane conditions of work is guaranteed in Art. XIII, Sec. 3 of the Constitution. In implementing this mandate, the Labor Code envisions two types of health and safety rules, those applicable generally and those with specific application depending on the nature of occupation.
The general requirements for enterprises are prescribed under Books III and IV of the Labor Code which regulate, among others, working hours, provision of safety gear, clinics, and access to hospitals or medical centers.
On an occupational basis, the minimum conditions of health and safety are prescribed in the Manual on Occupational Safety and Health Standards. These standards apply to particular occupations as determined by the inherent differences and risks in given work environments. For instance, RA 8558 amended Art. 287 of the Labor Code by reducing the compulsory retirement age of underground mine workers from 65 to 55 years of age, taking into account the health hazards associated with underground mining operations.
The DOLE administers and enforces safety and health standards mainly through the inspectorate system as described above. The Secretary of Labor and Employment has the power to order the stoppage of work or suspension of operations of an establishment when non-compliance with the law or implementing rules and regulations poses grave and imminent danger to the health and safety of workers.
Articles 162 to 165 of the Labor Code outline the responsibilities of the DOLE in ensuring occupational health and safety of workers.
3. a. Categories of workers who are excluded from existing schemes on occupational health and safety
The occupational safety and health provisions of the Labor Code are applicable only to workers falling within an employer-employee relationship. Thus, workers in the informal sector are excluded from the coverage of the Labor Code.
3. b. Statistical data and information on number, nature and frequency of occupational accidents
Data from the DOLE show that from 1996-2000, out of 1,726 representative establishments, there were 27,057 total work accidents with an average of 5,411 cases per year. Of the reported 27,057 cases, 17,856 or 66 per cent per cent were disabling injuries broken down as follows: temporary total disability with 17,608 cases, 185 fatal cases, 65 permanent partial disability while remaining 9,201 cases or 34 per cent per cent were classified as non-disabling or medical treatment/first aid treatment only. Total economic loss was placed at 56 million.
From the Five Year Summary (1996-2000) of Annual Medical Report, the following were noted:
A total of 10,176 representative establishments submitted AMR with wholesale and retail trade with the most number of reports (4,533) followed by manufacturing (1,699).
A total of 248,144 workers were exposed to various occupational hazards. Bacterial, viral, dust, mist and liquids were the specific types of hazards to which the majority of workers had been exposed. The majority of workers in the manufacturing sector topped the list of workers exposed to biologic, ergonomic, chemical and physical hazards.
The top 10 diseases/illnesses reported by industry include the following: colds, tension headache, diarrhea, tonsillopharyngitis, gastritis and influenza.
Question No. 4.: Equal opportunity for promotion
The response is similar to that given above (see paras. 223-226).
Question No. 5.: Laws and practices regarding rest, leisure, limitations of working hours, periodic holidays and remuneration for holiday pay
The following provisions of the Labor Code, prescribe the policies and rules regarding rest periods, working hours, and remuneration for public holidays:
Article 83, which states that normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day.
Article 84, which provides that rest periods of short duration (meaning less than one hour) during working hours shall be counted as hours worked and therefore compensable.
Article 85, which requires every employer to give its employees not less than 60 minutes time-off for their regular meals.
Article 86, which defines nightwork as work rendered between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and prescribes a premium of at least a 10 per cent per cent of the regular wage for work rendered during these hours.
Article 87, which prescribes a premium of at least 25 per cent per centof the regular wage for work rendered beyond eight hours.