Press Release
January 17, 2016


Amidst an upsurge of labor cases in the country, Senator Sonny Angara has hailed the signing into law of a bill that seeks to strengthen the mandate of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to ensure just and expeditious resolution of labor and management disputes.

The NLRC is the main government agency tasked to resolve labor and management disputes involving both local and overseas workers through compulsory arbitration and alternative modes of dispute resolution.

Such labor and management disputes include unfair labor practices; cases involving wages, rates of pay, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment; termination disputes; claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from employer-employee relations; among others.

Angara, the acting chairman of the Senate labor committee and the sponsor of the recently enacted law, cited a report from the NLRC which shows that from 2005 to 2014, NLRC Regional Arbitration Branches handled 434,819 cases, while the Commission handled 158,149 appealed cases.

For the first quarter of 2015, data showed that regional arbitration branches handled 17,264 cases while the Commission handled 3,741 cases.

Under Republic Act 10741, the number of commission attorneys assigned to each NLRC Commissioner will be increased from three to five as they not only assist the Commission in the resolution of appealed cases and the performance of its adjudicatory functions, they also play a vital role in conciliation-mediation of appealed cases.

"With the sheer volume of cases being filed at the NLRC, it is constantly faced with a challenge to resolve said cases in the fairest, quickest, least expensive and most effective way possible. The increase in number of commission attorneys provided by the law will allow the NLRC to reduce the time of the disposition of appealed cases from the present six months to four months from receipt of records of the cases," the lawmaker explained.

RA 10741 also seeks to remove the prohibition on the assignment of labor arbiters to the Commission, and the requirement that labor arbiters be appointed to a specific arbitration branch, including the preference that they are residents from that particular region.

This amendment will provide the Commission with more flexibility in the management of its manpower to meet the upsurge of cases and promote expeditious resolution of labor cases, and to enable the Commission to distribute the workload equitably and detail labor arbiters in areas where their services are most exigent.

"Kung mas mapapabilis ang pagresolba sa mga kasong ito, agad ding mabibigyang hustisya ang mga ordinaryong manggagawa na nakaranas ng hindi patas na pagtrato mula sa kanilang pinapasukang trabaho. Dapat nating siguruhin na mapananagot ang mga kumpanya at establisimyento na hindi tumutupad sa mga labor standards upang mapanatili ang maayos at produktibong ugnayan ng mga employer at employee sa bansa," Angara said.

"I thank President Aquino, our colleagues and our counterpart in the House of Representatives, Cong. Karlo Nograles, for the passage of this law that would strengthen the NLRC to better promote social justice and preserve industrial peace in the country which is an imperative of national economic development," he added.

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