1. What is the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines?

The Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines or Joint Guidelines refers to the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines in the Conduct of PNP Personnel, Economic Zone Police and Security Guards, Company Security Guards and Similar Personnel During Labor Disputes, which was jointly issued by the DOLE, PNP and PEZA on 23 May 2011 to ensure proper coordination in responding to cases of a strike/lockout/picket or any labor dispute within or outside the economic zones.

2. What agency has the jurisdiction on resolving labor dispute?

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has sole and exclusive jurisdiction in resolving labor disputes. Its attached agency, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), exercises primary jurisdiction in the resolution of strikes, picketing or lockout or any labor dispute through conciliation-mediation.

3. May the PEZA or PNP personnel intervene to resolve a labor dispute?

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) may intervene, in close coordination with the DOLE, to resolve a labor dispute in the economic zones through conciliation-mediation. The Philippine National Police (PNP) or any of its personnel has no authority to resolve labor dispute or determine whether a strike/lockout/picket is legal or illegal. The PNP is confined to ensuring or maintaining peace and order.

4. What labor disputes are covered by the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines?

It covers strikes, lockouts, picketing or any controversy or matter concerning terms and conditions of employment or the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the terms and conditions of employment, regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.

5. Where is it applicable?

If the mobilization of PNP peacekeeping assistance is in relation to a strike/lockout/picket or any labor dispute, the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines applies regardless of location, whether it is inside or outside the economic zone area.

6. What is the role of the PNP in strikes/lockouts/picketing or any labor disputes?

The PNP is limited only to the maintenance of peace and order, enforcement of laws and implementation of legal orders of the duly constituted authorities during strike, lockout, picketing or any labor dispute. It can be requested to render peace-keeping assistance during labor disputes through a written request course through the DOLE.

7. Who can mobilize PNP peace-keeping assistance during a strike/lockout/picket or any labor dispute?

The DOLE, or PEZA in coordination with the DOLE, or the parties to a labor dispute, may request for PNP peace-keeping assistance during a strike/lockout/picket or any labor dispute, subject to the requirement of the Joint Guidelines.

8. How should the request for PNP peace-keeping assistance be made?

Any request for assistance shall be made through the DOLE. A written request from the DOLE and/or its Regional Office is required in mobilizing PNP peace-keeping assistance during strike/picket/ lockout or any labor dispute. The request shall be made to the PNP Regional Director, Provincial Director, or City Police Director, and shall specify the acts to be performed or conducted by the PNP Team.

Parties to the dispute may request for assistance but the same is required to be in writing and coursed through the DOLE, or through PEZA in coordination with the DOLE, if the dispute is inside an economic zone area.

9. May the Economic Zone Police be mobilized as a peace-keeping assistance team during a strike/lockout/picket or any labor dispute inside the economic zone?

Yes. The Economic Zone Police together with the PEZA Security Guards, upon a written request from the DOLE and/or its Regional Office, may be formed into a peace-keeping team to ensure peace and order. The request shall be made to the Head or Responsible Officer of the concerned economic zone.

10. Who may request for Economic Zone Police peace-keeping assistance other than the DOLE in case of a strike/lockout/ picket or labor dispute inside the economic zone?

Labor groups or the company management may request for Zone Police assistance through the Economic Zone Office where the labor dispute is located. The Economic Zone Office shall coordinate the request with the DOLE and/or its Regional Office.

11. When can the PNP or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards respond strike/picket/lockout or any labor dispute without a written request from DOLE?

In case of actual violence in the area where the strike/picket/lockout or any labor dispute is, the PNP or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards can respond even without a written request from DOLE. But it shall immediately coordinate such response to the nearest DOLE and/or PEZA Office.

12. Where shall the PNP or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards be stationed in the exercise of their peace-keeping functions during picket/strike/lockout or any labor dispute?

The PNP or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards shall stay outside the 50-meter radius from the picket/strike/ lockout area in the exercise of their peace-keeping functions.

13. Who shall maintain the traffic if the 50-meter radius includes a public thoroughfare?

Traffic police shall ensure the free flow of traffic in case the 50-meter radius includes a public thoroughfare.

14. What shall the members of the PNP or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards peace-keeping team observe in exercising peace-keeping functions?

In the exercise of their peacekeeping functions, PNP personnel or Economic Zone Police/PEZA Security Guards shall at all times be in proper uniform, without lethal weapons and firearms, and with properly displayed nameplate. The peacekeeping team shall:

a. Exercise maximum tolerance and when called for by the situation or when all other peaceful and non-violent means have been exhausted, may employ as a last resort only such means as may be necessary and reasonable to prevent or repeal an aggression;

b. Observe courtesy and strict neutrality, bearing in mind that the parties to the labor dispute are not their adversaries but their partners in the quest for industrial peace and human dignity;

c. Not deliberately inflict any physical harm upon strikers and/or picketers or any person involved in the strike/lockout;

d. Not fraternize with any of the parties involved in the controversy, and shall not accept any invitation from management personnel or union officials/personnel involved in the controversy;

e. Ensure that the strike-bound area, which is inside the 50-meter radius, is gun-free zone, to include civilians and police personnel; and

f. Respect the Constitutional guarantee on the right of the people to be secured from unreasonable searches and seizures.

15. When can the PNP peace-keeping team step inside the 50-meter radius from the picket/strike/lockout area?

In case of actual violence arising from or not related to the labor dispute, the PNP peace-keeping team can step inside the 50-meter radius.

16. What is the DOLE Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (ICMC) for labor dispute?

The DOLE Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (ICMC) at the national or local level is to be composed of DOLE, NCMB and National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) as core members. With DOLE Administrative Order No. 125, Series of 2012, issued on 27 February 2012, a Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (RICMC) may be created by the DOLE Regional Consultative Council (RCC), motu proprio or upon a recommendation by the NCMB Regional Branch. It may be case specific or permanent, if warranted.

The RICMC shall be headed by the DOLE Regional Director and shall have as core members the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), and Philippine National Police (PNP). The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in case of a labor dispute inside the economic zone, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) or similar authority in other areas, in case of a labor dispute that will affect public transportation or public thoroughfares, shall be included in the RICMC.

Elected workers’ and employers’ representatives of RTIPC may also be invited to join the RICMC. The RICMC membership may be expanded, on a case to case basis, to include the other members of the RCC, local government unit, local chambers of commerce, NGOs and other relevant agencies or stakeholders, when necessary.

17. What shall the ICMC/RICMC do to ensure the implementation of the Joint Guidelines?

The ICMC/RICMC shall take the lead to explore all remedies and avenues necessary and feasible to peacefully settle a potential or actual strike, picket or lockout or any labor dispute. It shall undertake the following:

a. Coordinate, when appropriate, with other government agencies, local government unit and other relevant stakeholders;

b. Identify issues and recommend possible solutions/options to the parties to the labor dispute;

c. Mantain an open line of communication with management and workers’ representatives through social dialogue and exhaustive conciliation-mediation towards the immediate settlement of the labor dispute alongside or with the NCMB as the lead agency;

d. Identify the respective roles of the members of the ICMC/RICMC, including assigning a spokesperson to handle media-related affairs and establishment of a command center in the strike area where the RICMC may convene;

e. Ensure observance of the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines; and

f. Facilitate a Tripartite Social Accord to govern the conduct of all parties involved in a particular labor dispute pursuant to Section VII of the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines, which provides:

  • Enforcement of non-entry of scabs or individuals to replace strikers
  • Enforcement of free ingress to and egress from employer’s premises
  • Where the company involved in a strike or lockout is located inside a mall, hotel or premises of a business enterprise, designation of a decent and reasonable space for peaceful picketing and for strike/picket paraphernalia
  • Safety from undue destruction of strike/picket paraphernalia
  • Duty/responsibility of the union to lift the picket/strike after a lawful order, and dismantle and remove the picket/strike paraphernalia from the area

The ICMC/RICMC, upon an assessment made by the NCMB, may recommend to discontinue/withdraw the PNP peace- keeping team in the strike/lockout area.

18. How is maximum tolerance ensured?

The PNP in the ICMC/RICMC shall work closely with the PNP personnel on the ground or with the peace-keeping team in ensuring that maximum tolerance and the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines is observed to ensure peace and order in the strike/lockout area.

19. What should be observed in the service of lawful orders or writs issued by DOLE, courts or duly constituted authorities?

The DOLE Sheriff shall coordinate and dialogue with the workers and management before the service of DOLE Order or Writ. The Sheriff shall coordinate with the PNP when violence is imminent. When the Order/Writ is to be served inside an economic zone, the DOLE Sheriff shall coordinate with the Economic Zone Office.

20. What is the difference between public economic zones and private economic zones?

Public economic zones are established and maintained by the government though the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) while private economic zones are established and maintained by private individuals/enterprises.

21. Does PEZA exercise supervision and regulation over company security guards inside economic zones?

PEZA allows its locator-companies to hire security guards from PEZA-accredited security agencies and such security guards are subject to supervision and security regulations by PEZA.

22. What agency exercises supervision over PEZA police?

PEZA police are under the supervision of the economic zones.

23. May the workers join, form or assist in forming unions/ organizations inside economic zones?

Workers in the economic zones may exercise their right to self-organization and collective bargaining and they are allowed to join, form or assist in forming unions/organizations inside the economic zones.

24. Does the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines apply to private economic zones?

The Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines is to be observed inside and outside the economic zones. For this purpose, the appropriate DOLE Regional Office shall forge a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the owner/administrator of special economic zones or air transport authorities specifying the guidelines, responsibilities and coordination as stated in the Joint Guidelines in resolving labor disputes.

25. Can the company security guards respond to strike, picket, lockout or any labor dispute?

No. Under no circumstance shall company security guards initiate or assist in maintaining peace and order during picket/strike/lockout or any labor dispute.

26. What is the available remedy against PEZA or DOLE personnel who violate the provisions of the Joint Guidelines?

The aggrieved party may file an administrative complaint against DOLE personnel in accordance with the DOLE Manual on Disposition of Administrative Cases and Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, and against economic zone police/personnel in accordance with the PEZA Law and Civil Service Rules.

27. What is the available remedy against PNP personnel who violate the Joint Guidelines?

Complaints of violations against PNP personnel may be filed before the following:

a) PNP-Internal Affairs Service

b) National Police Commission

c) Chief of Police

d) PNP Provincial/City Director

e) PNP Regional Director

f) People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB)

g) Ombudsman

h) Civil Service Commission

28. What remedy can be availed of other than an administrative complaint?

Civil or criminal actions can be filed with separately, alternately, simultaneously or successively before appropriate courts for violation of the provisions of the Revised Penal Code.

29. What shall the fiscals and other government prosecutors do before filing the information in court of cases arising out of or related to a labor dispute?

The ICMC/RICMCshallensure observance of Circular No.15, Series of 1982 and Circular No. 9, Series of 1986, issued by the Department of Justice, which require fiscals and other government prosecutors to first secure clearance from the DOLE and/or the Office of the President “before taking cognizance of complaints for preliminary investigation and the filing in court of the corresponding information of cases arising out of or related to a labor dispute,” including cases with “allegations of violence, coercion, physical injuries, assault upon a person in authority and other similar acts of intimidation, obstructing the free ingress to and egress from a factory or place of operation of the machines of such factory, or the employers’ premises”.

30. Can the strikers/picketers be arrested without a warrant of arrest?

No arrest/search and seizure arising from a labor dispute shall be made without a valid warrant.

In case of arrest pursuant to Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court on warrantless arrest, or obstruction to public thoroughfares or ingress to and egress from employer’s premises, or possession of deadly weapons in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 6, or possession of firearms or explosives in violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended by Republic Act No. 8294, the ICMC/RICMC shall ensure that it is notified by the arresting officer within twenty-four hours after the arrest and that the person arrested was delivered to the nearest police station and held by reason of a case filed in court.