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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig

I.

Labor Policies and Rights in the Constitution

1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONSTITUTION TO LABOR LAW.


Aside from being one of two sources of the States authority to enact labor laws, the
Constitution is of fundamental significance in this field of law. The 1987 Constitution
embodies new provisions directly affecting the tights and welfare of labor.
The present Constitution introduces new provisions which are significant to labor law. These
may be summarized as follows: a) It defines new State policies on labor, b) It guarantees
individual and collective rights of workers; and c) It contains nationalistic provisions
protecting Filipino labor.
2.

NEW CONSTITUTIONAL POLICIES CONCERNING LABOR.

The Constitution adopts the following new policies regarding labor:


Art XII, Sec. 18. The state affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect
the right of workers and promote their welfare.
This is the first time that a Philippine Constitution gives explicit recognition to the role of
labor in social and economic development. It also states a policy of protection for the rights
and welfare of notices.
Art. XII, Sec. 12. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor domestic
materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them more
competitive.
This is a strongly nationalistic policy favoring Filipino labor, raw materials and finished
products which the State seeks to promote and strengthen.
Art. XIII, Sec. 3.... The State shall promote the principle of said responsibility between
workers and employers, and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes,
including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance the, with to foster industrial
peace.
For the first time the Constitution expresses a -preference in the method of resolving
industrial disputes. This is through the use of voluntary modes such as negotiation,
collective bargaining, voluntary arbitration, mediation and conciliation. The reason is that
these modes are less frictional and entail less social costs to the parties, to government, and
to society as a whole.
Art. XIII, Sec. 14, The State shall project working women by providing safe and healthful
working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and provide such facilities
and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full
potential in the service of the nation.

Page 1 of 10

The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
The protection of working women, which the previous Constitution mentioned only
incidentally, is now given a separate title in view of the important role of women in Filipino
society.
3. RESTATEMENT OF OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL POLICIES. The Constitution also
restates and rephrases policies established in the previous Constitution, and readapts them
for further implementation.
These policies are:
The State shall afford fish protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and
unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for
(Art. XIII, Sec.3) This is a more positive and comprehensive restatement of the Protection
to Labor clause.
. . .The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the
right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production, and the right of enterprises to
reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth.
This policy precludes the State from adopting a laissez faire policy on labor relations due to
the public interest involved therein, it also provides guidelines by which the States
regulatory power shall be exercised.
4. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF LABOR. The Constitution is the bedrock of the most
fundamental rights of labor. These rights guaranteed by the Constitution may be classified
into two, namely: a) individual rights of workers; and b) collective rights of labor in general.
The individual rights of workers are found in Art. III, Bill of Rights, which is described as the
charter of individual liberties. While all persons enjoy these rights, their particular
application to workers carries a certain significance which requires special consideration.
The collective rights of labor in general are enshrined in the Protection to Labor clause, Art.
XIII, Sec. 3.These two sets of rights are not identical. In fact they may possibly conflict with
each other, as will be noted later.
A. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS OF WORKERS
5. RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS Sect. I - No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of
the laws. (Art. 111, Const.) This is the due process/equal protection clause. An early
application of the due process clause interpreted the right to property to include a workers
right to his labor and to the fmits of his industry. Hence, a worker cannot be deprived of his
job or his wages without die process of law (Philippine Moving Pictures Workers Association
vs. Premier Productions, 92 Phil 843). In a more recent case the Supreme Court declared that
It is a principle well recognized in this jurisdiction, that ones employment, profession, trade
or calling is a property right, and the wrongful interference therewith is an actionable wrong.
The right is considered to be property within the protection of the Constitutional guarantee
of due. process of law (Calianta vs. Carnation Phil., 145 SCRA 268 citing Femandt,
Constitution of the Phil. 2nd Ed. pp. 512-513).

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
6. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. Sec. 4 - - No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of
speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances. (Art. III, Const.) The freedom of
expression clause quoted above is derived from the Philippine Bill of 1902 which replicated
verbatim the corresponding provision in the U. S. Constitution (1935), reaffirmed in the 1972
Constitution, and now appears in the 1987 Constitution which adds expression to the
freedoms protected. American jurisprudence interpreting this provision has applied it to
cover the labor practice of picketing. Hence, it has been declared that by peaceful
picketing, working men communicate their grievances. As a means of communicating the
fact of a labor dispute, peaceful picketing may be a phase of the Constitutional right of free
utterance. But recognition of peaceful picketing as an exercise of free speech does not imply
that the States must be without power to confine the sphere of communication to that
directly related to the dispute. (Carpenters and Joiners Union vs. Ritters Cafe, 315 U.S. 722)
In a more direct statement, it has been held that what is protected is the element of
communication, not the act of patrolling or marching which may be subject to reasonable
regulation. (International Brotherhood of Teamsters vs. Hanke, 1950).
The first local application of this guarantee to a case of peaceful picketing is recorded in
Mortera vs. CIR (79 Phil. 345). This protection was expanded to apply to cases even where
employer-employee relationship was absent. (de Leon vs. NLU, 100 Phil. 789, PAFLU s.
Barot, 99 Phil. 1008) However, subsequent doctrines have established the power of the court
to limit the exercise of the right to parties involved in the labor dispute, or having a direct
interest to the context of this issue. (PAFLU vs. Cloribel, 27 SCRA 465 ; RPM Workers
Association vs. Reyes, 124 Phil. 1442) In the later case of Liwayway Publications vs.
Permanent Concrete Workers Union. et al (108 SCRA 16), the Supreme Court, while allowing
that peaceful picketing is a phase of the freedom of expression guaranteed by the
Constitution and could not be curtailed even in the absence of employer-employee
relationship, maintained that this is not an absolute right. The courts, it ruled, are not
without power to localize the sphere of demonstration, whose interest are foreign to the
context of the dispute. Thus the right may be recognized at the instance of an innocent bystander who is not involved in the labor dispute if it appears that the result of the
picketing is to create an impression that a labor dispute exists between him and the
picketing union. (See also TUPAS vs. Cscolluela, 140 SCRA 302) The prohibition against
injunction does not apply when petitioned by a third party whose property is sought to be
levied in satisfaction of a judgment debt against another (Penalosa vs. Villanueva, 177 SCRA
778). Courts, in the exercise of their equity jurisdiction, may issue injunction where the
concerted activities are aimed at compelling the employer to ignore a clear mandate of the
law. (Bulletin Publishing Corp. vs. Sanchez, 144 SCRA 628) These antecedent rulings
amortize the limitation of the exercise of picketing in certain cases allowed by law or equity.
Moreover, the law also prescribes the instances when injunction may lie against strikes, and
picketing may be enjoined or restrained. (Art. 318, Sec. 3 (c) Art. 264 LC as amended by BP
227)Apart from these, the principle remains that no general injunction shall lie against
peaceful picketing.
The freedom of expression is available to individual workers subject to the legal limitation of
industrial peace t air their valid grievances. (Kap. Manggagawa ng Camara Shoes vs.
Camara Shoes, 111 SCRA478)

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
7. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION. The pertinent text in the Bill of Rights provides:
Sec. 8 -- The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors,
to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be
abridged (Art.III, Const.).
The freedom of association clause, which now embraces employees in the public sector,
carries a special significance to the rights of the individual worker. The Supreme Court has
described this freedom as both a right and a privilege. This implies not only the right to
join a labor union, but also the privilege of not joining one, of selecting which union to join,
and of disaffiliating from a union. (Victoriano vs. Elizalde Rope Workers Union, 59 SCRA 54)
The exception to this right arises when it runs into conflict with the collective right of labor to
self-organization as expressed in the union security clause of collective bargaining
agreements. Hence, a closed shop provision in a CBA, while it has a generally prospective
application to new workers, was held to apply to old workers who were not members of any
union, but not to those who already belonged to another union at the time of the signing of
the CBA. (Art. 249-e; Juat vs. CIR, 15 SCRA 395)
The rationale of the collective right of labor was explained thusly: Petitioners, although
entitled to disaffiliate from their union and to form a new organization of their own must,
however, suffer the consequences of their separation from the union under the security
clause of the CBA. Inherent in every labor union is the right to self-preservation; when they
seek the disintegration of the very union to which they belong, they thereby forfeit their
rights to remain as members. Prudence and equity, as well as the dictates of law and justice,
therefore compel mandate of the adoption by the labor union of such corrective and
remedial measures, in keeping with its laws and regulations, for its preservation and
continued existence, lest by its folly and inaction the labor union amble and fan. (Milar vs.
Inciong, 121 SCRA 444) A closed shop provision in the CBA, where applicable, does not
however mean automatic termination, Actual dismissal based on this clause should not be
characterized with arbitrariness, and must always be with due process to the employee
Manila Mandarin Employees Union vs. NLRC, 154 SCRA 368; Sauyo vs. Canizares, 211 SCRA
361; Kalaw vs. NLRC, 202 SCRA 7). Under a maintenance of membership clause, the duty to
remain a member of the bargaining union exists only for the duration of the CBA. Freedom of
association is unconstitutionally invaded if such duty is stipulated beyond that period. This
duty ceases to be binding only during the 60-day freedom period before the expiration of the
CBA. (Tnduay Distillery Labor Union vs. Thnduay Distillery, Inc. and NLRC, 149 SCRA 470).

Another restriction in the application of a union security clause is that the sanction involved
therein must be explicitly stated, and cannot be implied. If the clause does not expressly
give the right to dismiss the worker upon its violation, the employer cannot do so, as the
right to dismiss must be clear, categorical and express. Manila Cordage Co. vs. dR. 78 SCRA
398) In a more recent case, however, the dismissal of union members for violating a union
security clause requiring membership in good standing as a condition of their continued
employment was held to be valid and privileged, and did not constitute an unfair labor
practice. (Tanduay Distillery Labor Union vs. Thnduay Distillery, Inc. & NLRC, supra)

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
For the first time, the Constitution grants government employees individually the freedom of
association (Art. III, Sec. 8), and collectively, the right to self-organization (Art.IX, Sec. 2 [5];
Art.XHI, Sec. 3). These rights are further regulated by Sec. 6, Ex. 0. No. 180.
8. NON-IMPAIRMENT CLAUSE. The Bill of Right provides a guarantee of non-impairment
as follows:
Sec. 10 - No krw impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. From the standpoint
of a workers right, this guarantee could be described more relevantly as the right to the
sanctity of employment contracts.
The contracts protected by the non-impairment clause are confined to those respecting
property or property rights, such as employment contracts. The obligation of such contracts
refers to the duty of performing the contracts according to their terms and intent. Thus, a
subsequent law or ordinance which destroys or diminishes the value of these contracts or
deviates from their terms impairs their obligation.
However, the principal limitation to this cause is the Police Power of he State. When lawfully
exercised, this inherent power may be justifiably used even to the extent of impairing the
obligation of contracts, because the Police Power is superior to the non-impairment clause.
(Pantranco vs. Public Service Commission, 70 Phil. 221; Abe vs. Foster Wheeler Corp., 110
Phil, 198; Asia Bed Factory vs. National Bed and Kapok Industries Workers Union, 100 Phil.
837)
9. FREE ACCESS TO COURTS AND QUASI - JUDICIAL BODIES. This individual right is
guaranteed in this Bill of Rights provision:
Sec. 11 -- Free access to the courts and quasi - judicial bodies, and adequate legal
assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. (Art.III, Const.)
This right is quite relevant to the individual worker as it affords the worker a double
protection which could otherwise be negated on account of poverty. The protection of free
access has been expanded-- more relevantly to labor -- to include quasi-judicial bodies which
have jurisdiction over labor cases. The second guarantee of adequate legal assistance is a
new Constitutional right of individual workers. It seeks to offset the disadvantage that a
worker, due to limited resources, may not be able to afford competent legal services. This
right is now being protected by both public and private entities.
10. RIGHT TO SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES. The text establishing this right provides:
Sec. 16 -- All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all
judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative bodies. (Art. III, Const.) The scope of this right is
broad enough to cover all forms of labor disputes. The right is of particular significance to
the worker whose limited resources do not give him the capability to sustain a protracted
litigation. Oftentimes, the worker finds himself so hard-pressed and subjected to delay that
he agrees to unfair settlements or altogether abandons enforcing his right due to this
inability. This guarantee seeks to prevent such an unjust situation. The right, however, does
not mean undue haste in the proceedings; it means that these are to be conducted with
reasonable promptness consistent with the due administration of justice.

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
11. RIGHT AGAINST INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE. This right is embodied in the following
provision:
Sec. 18(2)-- No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. (Art. III Const.)
This prohibition covers the following practices: a) Slavery or the state of entire subjection of
one person to the will of another and b) Involuntary servitude generally, or a condition of
enforced compulsory service of one to another.
Its purpose, from a labor standpoint is . . . to make labor free, by prohibiting that control by
which the personal service of one man is disposed of or coerced for anothers benefit, which
is the essence of involuntary servitude. (Bailey vs. Alabama, 219 U.S. 119)
Hence, gratuitous services to secure payment of a loan is not only denounced, but also
subjects the creditor to criminal prosecution if he shall compel the debtor to work for him,
against his will, as household servant or farm laborer. (de los Reyes vs. Alojado, 16 Phil. 499;
Art. 274, Penal Code) But a return-to-work order in a labor dispute issued under Sec. 19 of
C.A. 103 was upheld when challenged as volatile of this clause. The Court ruled in this
regard that An employee entering into a contract of employment voluntarily accepts,
among other conditions, those prescribed in said Section 19. . . The voluntaries of the
employees entering into it or not --- with such implied condition, negatives the possibility of
involuntary servitude ensuing. . . (Kaisahan vs. Gotamco Sawsmills, 80 Phil. 521) By
extension, this does not justify an employee from choosing to do certain tasks, and refusing
to do others entailed in his job. This is clearly beyond the pale of this prohibition.
B. COLLECTIVE RIGHTS OF LABOR
12. RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION. The Protection to Labor clause, Art, XIII Sec. 3,
ensures this right of labor in these words: It (the State) shall guarantee the rights of all
workers to self-organization... This right is protected because of the underlying reason that
workers and their employer are placed not upon a position of equality but upon a position of
the quality. Only a well-organized, high-minded labor union speaking with a single, yet
potent, voice can hope to deal with a powerful employer with some semblance of equality.
This reason lies at the very root of unionism. The protection refers to all workers, which
includes government employees in the civil service (Art. III, Sec. 8; Art. IX, Sec. 2[5J; Sec.6,
Ex. 0. No. 111), and in government-owned and controlled corporations without original
charters. This right is however subject to two limitations, via:
a) High-level employees whose functions are normally considered as policy-making or
managerial or whose duties are of a highly confidential nature shall not be eligible to join the
organization of rank-and-file government employees (Sec. 3, Ex. 0. No. 180); and
b) The right does not apply to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including
police officers, policemen, firemen and jail guards (Sec. 4, Id.). Certain exclusions are also
provided among employees in the private sector, such as managerial employees, members
of cooperatives, etc.

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
13.RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING NEGOTIATION. This right, which is also given
by the Protection to Labor clause, is corollary to the right to self-organization. It infers the
existence of a labor organization, and indicates its role in fostering industrial peace. Without
this companion right, a labor union will have no voice or power to represent the workers
interests before their employee and it would be inutile. With it, workers are enabled to
negotiate with the employer on the same level and with more persuasiveness than if they
were to bargain individually and independently for the improvement of their respective
conditions. The terms collective bargaining and negotiation are often used
interchangeably. How they differ with related terms such as grievance procedures and
arbitration was well pointed out by Professors Cox and Dunlop in the Harvard Law Review,
thus: Collective bargaining normally takes the form of negotiation when major conditions of
employment to be written into an agreement are under consideration, and of grievance
committee meetings and arbitration when questions arising from the administration of an
agreement are at stake. (Republic Savings Bank vs. CIR, 21 SCRA226, citing Harvard Law
Review, 1097,1105 [1950)This right is applicable to government employees in the civil
service, but with certain restrictions. Thus, terms and conditions of employment, or
improvements thereof; except those that are fixed by law, may be the subject of
negotiations between duly recognized employees organizations and appropriate
government authorities (Sec. 13, Ex. 0. No. 180, Underscoring supplied). Obviously, terms
and conditions fixed by law cannot be changed by negotiation.
14. RIGHT TO PEACEFUL CONCERTED ACTIVITIES. This is another corollary to the right
to self-organization as it affords to labor unions the potential for action to enforce their
demands. The right is established in the protection to labor clause which provides in
pertinent part: It (the State) shall guarantee the rights of all workers to peaceful concerted
activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. . . (Art. XIII, Sec. 3). The term
concerted activities is defined as the activities of two or more employees for the purpose
of securing benefits or changes in terms and conditions of employment, or for mutual aid or
protection with respect to their collective interest as employees. This definition
comprehensively covers a wide range of acts from grievances and representations to strikes.
Resolution of industrial disputes through voluntary initiatives has the advantage of
simplicity, certainty and privacy. But the coercive versions of stokes and picketing, because
of their far-reaching consequences to the economy and to the larger interest of society, are
subject to regulation. The Constitution itself in guaranteeing this tight, qualifies it with the
condition that concerted activities should be peaceful, and that the right to strike be in
accordance with law.
In this light, the question has been raised whether government employees in the civil
service - - who have been granted generally the right to self-organization, and qualifiedly,
the night to collective bargaining -also have the right to strike. The Supreme Court, in a
1989 decision, answered in the negative. It noted that while the Constitution recognizes the
right of government employees to organize, it is silent as to whether such recognition also
includes the right to strike. Resorting to the intent of the framers of the organic law, it
observed that the members of the Constitutional Commission intended to limit the right to
the formation of unions and associations only, without including the right to strike. It cited
Executive Order No. 180 regulating the exercise of the right to organize government
employees which provides in Sec. 14 thereof that the Civil Service law and rules governing
concerted activities and strikes in the government service shall be observed, subject to any

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
legislation that may be enacted by Congress. It stated that the President was apparently
referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6 Series of 1987 of the Civil Service Law dated April
21, 1987 which, prior to the enactment by Congress of applicable laws concerning strikes by
government employees, enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions all government
employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of
mass action which with result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. It
continued that in the absence of any legislation allowing government employees to strike,
recognizthg their right to do so, or regulating the exercise of the tight, they are prohibited
from striking, by express provision of Memorandum Circular No. 6 and as implied in
Executive Order No.
The court also passed upon the question of which entity had jurisdiction over the case. It
held that the Regional Trial Court, in the exercise of its general jurisdiction under B.P. 129,
had jurisdiction over petitioners claim fo1 damages and for the issuance of a writ of
injunction to stop the strike, since the Labor Code did not apply to government employees.
(SSS Employees Association, et. al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 175 SCRA 686.)
In a more recent decision, the Court ruled En Banc that as a general rule, even in the
absence of express statutory prohibition like Memorandum Circular No. 6. public employees
are denied the right to strike or engage in work stoppage against a public employer. The
right of the sovereign to prohibit strikes or work stoppages by public employees was clearly
recognized at common law. To grant employees of the public sector the right to strike there
must be a clear and direct legislative authority therefore In the absence of any express
legislation allowing government employees to strike, recognizing their right to do so, or
regulating the exercise of the right, employees in the public service may not engage in
strike, walk-outs and temporary work stoppage like workers in the private sector .
(Bangalisan vs. CA, July 31, 1997)
Parenthetically, and to complete our discussion on the rights of government employees in
this context, it is to be noted that employees of government-owned and controlled
corporations, organized under the Corporation Code as well as those working in
establishments whose controlling interests have been acquired by government financial
institutions have the same rights in this regard as employees of private corporations. In the
former case because such employees are engaged in proprietary functions of government
(NARIC Workers Union vs. Alvendia, 107 Phil. 404) and are not members of the civil service,
and in the latter because they are employed in entities which retain their essentially private
character and profit motivation. (AGW vs. Minister of Labor,124SCRA 1)
15. RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE. Under previous laws, an employer could terminate
the services of an employee with or without just cause, by simply giving him one month
notice, or compensation (mesada) in lieu thereof. This placed the employee at the mercy of
the employer on whom he depended for his and his family's livelihood. This tenuous
relationship has been drastically changed and rectified by the Labor Code in view of the right
to security of tenure guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. XIII, Sec. 3). Tenure in employment
means the right to continue in employment until the same is terminated under conditions
required by law. Art. XIII, Sec. 3 of the Constitution guarantees to workers security of tenure.
(Palmeria vs. NLRC, 247 SCRA 57)

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
16. RIGHT TO HUMANE CONDITIONS OF WORK. This collective right ensures that
working conditions take into account the health, safety and welfare of workers. The Labor
Code is replete with provisions that address this concern. For instance, its entire Book IV on
Health. Safety anti Social Welfare Benefits relates to medical and dental services,
occupational health and safety, and a compensation program for employees and their
dependents in the event of work-connected disability or death. The Ill of Book Ill regulates
the working conditions for special groups of employees: working women, minors, house
helpers and home workers. The Code also empowers the Secretary of Labor to order
stoppage of work or suspension of operations of an establishment when non-compliance
with the law poses grave and imminent danger to the health and safety of workers in the
workplace (Art. 128-c). These provisions, to cite only a few examples, illustrate the
implementation of this Constitutional right of workers.
17. RIGHT TO A LIVING WAGE. The right to a living wage is a new right established in the
present Constitution (Art. XIII, Sec. 3 ). The term refers not merely to the worker, but to his
family as well, and the intent is to secure the means whereby a worker can secure the
health, decency, well being and an improved quality of life for his family. This sight is
therefore imbued with social justice implications. A living wage is not the same as a
minimum wage. For a minimum wage is a floor wage, fellow which remuneration cannot fall.
Thus, it is basically a quantitative concept which, despite all the factors considered, may still
be equated with the term subsistence wage. This has been accurately described in Blacks
Law Dictionary as the least wage on which an ordinary individual can be self-sustaining,
and obtain the ordinary requirements of life. (Id. Rev. 4th Ed, citing Asso. Industries of
Oklahoma vs. Industrial Welfare Confirm mission, 185 Ok. 177) But a living wage takes into
consideration not only the worker himself, but also his family. It concerns not only his
ordinary requirements of life, like food and shelter, but all the additional requirements of his
family -- like education, clothing, health care, entertainment, etc. This is therefore a
qualitative concept intended to secure the social end of eventually freeing the people from
poverty, and providing an improved quality of life for all. (Art. II, Sec. 9, Constitution)
18. RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN POLICY AND DECISION- MAKING. The Protection to Labor clause
also contains a new provision which states in pertinent part: . . They (all officers ) shall also
participate hi policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as
may be provided by law. . (Art. XIII, Sec.3) As worded, this provision does not establish a
right; it merely allows such a right if the legislature enacts the corresponding law. This status
was firmed up as a right upon the effectively of Rep. Act. No. 6715 on March 21, 1989.
Section 22 of this amendatory law provides on this point. Any provision of law to the
contrary notwithstanding, workers shall have the right, subject to such rules and regulations
as the Secretary of Labor and Employment: may promulgate, to participate in policy and
decision-making processes of the establishment where they are employed insofar as said
processes will directly affect their rights, benefits and welfare. For this purpose, workers and
employers may form labor- management councils: provided, that the representatives of the
workers in such labor-management councils shall be elected by at least the majority of all
employees in said establishment. (id.) This right does not apply to all types of policy and
decision-making by management, but only to those that directly affect the rights, benefits
and welfare of workers. Aside from establishing this right, Rep. Act No.6715 also dispelled all
doubts about the legitimacy of labor-management councils which are allowed even in
organized establishments precisely to implement this pailicipatory right. In unorganized

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The Labor Law of the Philippines: A Compendium

Frankneil Mata Adducul


Bachelor of Laws
Cagayan State University Carig
establishments, such councils are allowed to assist in promoting industrial peace. (Sec.33-h,
R.A. 6715; Sec. 14-h, BP Big. 130).
19. OTHER FEATURES PROTECTING FILIPINO LABOR. The Constitution also embodies
other new provisions favorable to Filipino labor Specifically, it contains new nationalistic
measures which further augment those currently in force.

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