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Business

P-Noy signs 2 new labor laws

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Domestic helpers and other poor workers do not have to worry anymore about the high cost of pursuing labor cases against erring employers.

President Aquino signed recently two new labor laws that would not only boost the country’s economic climate but will also benefit millions of poor workers.

The first law known as an Act Strengthening Tripartism, declared tripartism in labor relations as a state policy, allowing employers and workers to become part of policy-making bodies of the government.

The same law mandates the establishment of a National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) headed by the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Composed of representatives from the government, employers and workers, the NTIPC shall monitor full implementation and compliance of  international conventions, declarations, code of conducts and social accords.

The council shall also formulate recommendations to the President and Congress on labor, economic and social concerns and advise DOLE on implementation of policies and legislation affecting labor and employment.

It shall also serve as communication channel and mechanism for joint programs enhancing labor and management relations.

“The council would serve as a clearing house that would make easier for us to craft new policies with the labor, management and government discussing and agreeing on its implementation,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.

Meanwhile, the other law, which amends the Labor Code, mandates mandatory conciliation of all issues arising from labor disputes. 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday assured the public of faster and easier resolution of labor disputes with the signing of the new law.

“The DOLE’s system of voluntary conciliation and mediation is now institutionalized, which means both workers and employers must now undergo a 30-day conciliation and exhaust all efforts for settlement of disputes,” Baldoz said.

“It’s an opportunity for all workers, including domestic helpers, drivers, and seafarers to talk and settle dispute with their employers without the need of paying much for the litigation of cases,” Baldoz said.

“With the mandatory conciliation, labor disputes can be resolved faster so the high cost of filing complaints that sometimes even reach the Supreme Court can now be avoided,” Baldoz said.

The labor arbiter of the concerned DOLE agency that has jurisdiction over the dispute shall only entertain cases that have been endorsed or referred by a duly authorized officer.

Both parties involved in the dispute may pre-terminate the conciliation proceedings and request referral to labor office only if they both agree to refer the unresolved dispute to voluntary arbitration.

Baldoz said the new law will preserve and enhance the delivery of labor justice and will also be useful for both labor and management considering that majority of companies in the country are small and medium enterprises.

Since the government already has an existing mechanism, Baldoz said the DOLE expects full implementation of the new laws, published in The STAR yesterday, by May.

“We already have the mechanism so the DOLE would probably just make minor improvements and implement the new law as soon as possible,” she said.

Business community welcomes new labor laws

The business community welcomed yesterday  the signing of new labor laws, which would institutionalize partnership between the employers and workers nationwide.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said the new law strengthens tripartism with the creation of tripartite industrial peace councils at the national, regional, and industry levels.

ACT STRENGTHENING TRIPARTISM

BALDOZ

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

DOLE

EMPLOYERS

EMPLOYERS CONFEDERATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

LABOR

LABOR CODE

LABOR SECRETARY ROSALINDA BALDOZ

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