Philippine Standard Time:

Essential in applying appropriate measures to address the issues raised by the Labor Sector relating to the energy sector is an in-depth understanding of the whole industry, including the system, factors and processes involved, in addition to the associated problems and concerns that are reportedly faced by the workers.

Forty (40) DOLE Senior Officials and staff of concerned DOLE Bureaus, Services and Attached Agencies benefitted from a “Power 101 Briefing” held on 06 March 2015 by the NAGKAISA, a broad labor coalition.

“This briefing aims to provide the DOLE Officials with a deeper understanding of the root causes and impact of the issue on power in order to guide the DOLE in its implementation of appropriate interventions”, said Usec. Rebecca C. Chato, DOLE.

Mr. Wilson Fortaleza, Mr. Vicente Unay, Jr. and Mr. Louie Corral of the NAGKAISA jointly oriented the DOLE, with presentations on the power system, the industry issues and workforce, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) policies affecting labor rights, and the power crisis.

“Napakalaking kapakinabangan [nito] dahil yung napaka-highly technical na industriya ay na-laymanize ang kaunawaan para sa mga ordinary consumers at sa amin dito sa DOLE,” said Sec. Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz as she commended the presentors.

Surfacing recommendations from the labor sector include the conduct of a dialogue involving the DOLE, NEA and trade union representatives and the creation of a National Tripartite Council in the Electric Cooperative Sector in order to focus discussion and generate solutions on the power issue.

To address labor’s concerns, the DOLE shall have a dialogue with the NEA concerning the reported issues emanating from the NEA jurisdiction and determination of employer-employee relations such as, encroachment of trade union and collective bargaining rights, violation of the workers’ security of tenure and duty to bargain collectively, limitation of the CBA Across-the-Board Wage Increases, and redundancy of mandatory grievance procedure.

The briefing is in line with the standing commitment and continuous engagement of the government to address the labor concerns brought before the President during the Pre-Labor Day Dialogue on 29 April 2014.