Philippine Standard Time:

During its 11 December 2013 meeting held at the Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Manila, the members of the national Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) endorsed five bills for the 16th Congress.

The TIPC Chairperson, none other than the Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis – Baldoz, said that all the bills have passed extensive deliberation at the Small Tripartite Labor Code Review Committee through a series of tripartite meetings.

The endorsed bills are as follows:

  • An Act Reforming the National Apprenticeship Program and Providing Regulatory Standards for the Training of Apprentices, and for the Registration of the Programs, Thereof which seeks to institute reforms on the apprenticeship program to make it more attractive to both the enterprises and the prospective apprentices in a bid to promote skills acquisition and youth employment and to clarify that apprenticeship is a training and not an employment program;
  • An Act Defining the Role of DOLE and LGU on the Establishment and Operation of the PESO, and the Operation of the Job Placement Office in Educational Institutions and NGO, Amending for the Purpose Sections 3, 6, 7 and 9 of Republic Act No. 8759, Otherwise Known as Public Employment Service Office Act of 1999. This bill seeks to institutionalize the establishment and operation of a Public Employment Service Office in the local government units with the following proposals: 1) The DOLE to undertake the establishment, operation and maintenance of PESOs upon the request of the LGU, NGO or SUC; 2) the DOLE shall enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the concerned LGU, NGO or SUC; and 3) the budget needed for the full implementation of the law shall be provided in the GAA of DOLE;
  • An Act Establishing Occupational Safety and Health Standards in the Construction Industry which adopted the provisions of DOLE Department Order No. 13, series of 1998 or the Guidelines Governing Occupational Safety and Health in the Construction Industry to emphasize that compliance with safety standards shall be the responsibility of all stakeholders (workers, employers, constructors and government). Sanctions/penalties for erring stakeholders are included in the bill;
  • An Act Fostering a Culture of Voluntary Compliance with Labor Laws through the Use of Developmental Approach amending Article 128 of the Labor Code from a purely regulatory framework to the promotion of voluntary compliance in order to: (1) inculcate a culture of compliance with labor laws; (2) ensure fair, expeditious and non-litigious settlement of disputes; and (3) strengthen tripartism among the employees, employers and the government; and
  • An Act Providing for Appeal of Decisions of the NLRC to the Supreme Court which seeks to remove one (1) layer of appeal of decision of the NLRC to afford labor justice particularly by the lowly workers who cannot afford costly litigation. This will lessen the level of appeal and procedural requirements and processes before the labor case attains finality with the Supreme Court.

The TIPC is mandated to formulate, for submission to the President or to Congress, tripartite views, recommendations, and proposals on labor, economic, and social concerns, including the presentation of tripartite positions on relevant bills pending in Congress. These bills are a manifestation of collaboration among social partners in policy-formulation with an end goal of promoting industrial peace.