Press Release
July 31, 2006


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan announced today that S.B. No. 1406, AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE WORKERS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION will be heard by the Committee on Labor on Wednesday, August 2, 2006. Initially filed in July 2004 by the Majority Leader, the Committee on Labor is chaired by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. The bills counterpart in the House of Representatives, H.B. No. 1351 (CRN 619), or AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE WORKERS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 442, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILPPINES, was transmitted last week to the Senate, after it was approved on 3rd reading. HB 1351 was filed by Rep. Del de Guzman, and co-sponsored by AKBAYAN Rep. Mayong Aguja.

It is the constitutionally guaranteed right of the worker to self-organize and to participate in collective bargaining. These internationally recognized basic human rights have been rendered futile by the litigious nature of labor relations in the Philippines. Companies are now prone to excessively engaging in lawsuits or legal maneuvers to avoid having to deal with labor problems. These clearly do not address the root of the problem facing our labor force. The realities of inflation, rising oil prices, the seemingly insurmountable cost of living has forced our labor force to fight for their rights. Amending the Labor Code will ensure the rights of the Filipino worker, the lifeblood of our economy, Kiko said.

SB 1406 aims to amend Art. 239, 245, 256, and 257 of the Labor Code. It will allow Supervisory employees to join federations or the national union as other rank-and-file employees. It will hasten also Certification Election Proceedings for choosing a certified bargaining agent for Collective Bargaining proceedings.

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