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This discusses Republic Act No.

10911, otherwise known as Anti-age discrimination in


employment act, in relation to the Bona-fide occupational qualification as exception and
the intention of the lawmaking body to modify the age of retirement.

I. THE ANTI-AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT

Republic Act No. 10911, otherwise known as Anti-age discrimination in


employment act, punishes the acts that constitute discrimination based on age.
Among these offenses are publication of articles which are related to employment
that suggest a preference of age, inquiry of age or date of birth during application,
deny a person employment based on his age, and other related discriminatory acts
however the law provides for exceptions, to wit:

Sec. 6. Exceptions. — It shall not be unlawful for an employer


to set age limitations in employment if:
(a) Age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably
necessary in the normal operation of a particular business or
where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other
than age; (under
xxx1

II. BONA FIDE DEFINED

Under the Black’s Law Dictionary “Bona fide” was defined as “Is or with good
faith; honestly, openly, and sincerely; without deceit or fraud. Truly; actually;
without simulation or pretense. Innocently; in the attitude of trust and confidence;
without notice of fraud, etc. Real, actual, genuine, and not feigned”2

III. BONA FIDE QUALIFICATION AS PROVIDED BY RA 10911

The law, Republic Act 10911 did not determine what constitute a bona fide
occupational qualification reasonably necessary in the normal operation as
provided under Sec. 9 as an exception.

The reason behind this is manifested in the deliberation of the Senate over Senate
Bill 29 of 16th Congress. When Senator Sotto inquire, who decides the bona-fide
qualification, Senator Pia Cayetano replied that it would best if the Department of

1
Republic Act 10911
2
Black’s Law Dictionary 4th Ed. Rev
Labor and Employment from through consultation from various industry to come
up with the said Bona-fide Qualification.3

It is not possible to come up with just one standard for various industries
because circumstances and situations vary in every industry, and that what may
be valid distinction in a very labor-intensive type of work may be very different
or non-existent in a job that requires more on one’s intellectual capacity. Such
technical matters should be addressed by the Department of Labor and
Employment after consultation.4

The lawmakers’ intention is apparent and clear. It is the duty of DOLE to come up,
in the formation of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of RA 10911, a clear
and direct bona-fide occupational qualification as an exception to the said law.

IV. INTENT OF THE CONGRESS TO MODIFY THE RETIREMENT AGE

The existing law at the moment which regard to the retirement age is Republic Act
7641. Under the said law:

Sec. 1 Article 287 of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended,


otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, is
hereby amended to read as follows:

“Art. 287 Retirement – x x x

In the absence of a retirement plan or agreement providing for


retirement benefits of employees in the establishment, an
employee upon reaching the age of sixty (60) years or more,
but not beyond sixty-five (65) years which is hereby declared
the compulsory retirement age x x x”5

Note: Pursuant to Department Advisory No. 01 series of 2015, Art. 287 of the
Labor Code is now renumbered to Art. 302. 6

Upon the passage of R.A. 10911, there is no provision which provides for the
modification of the retirement age under R.A 7641. The intention of the R.A. 10911
is to prevent employers choosing employees based on their age.

3
Senate Journal Session No. 7, 16th Congress, 2nd Regular Session (August 12, 2014)
4
Senate Journal Session No. 7, 16th Congress, 2nd Regular Session (August 12, 2014)
5
Republic Act 7641
6
Department Advisory No. 01 Series of 2015
The Co-sponsor of the the bill, Senator Pia Cayetano when asked the question of
what the mandatory age of retirement should be. She expresses that existing law
on retirement should be followed7. The said existing law on retirement is R.A. 7641

V. ACUTAL INTENTION OF THE LAW

The 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall promote full employment and
equality of employment opportunities for all. It means that a jobseeker must be
afforded with the opportunity to obtain an employment regardless of age, gender,
creed, political or status in life.8

In support of the international communities’ appeal for the elimination of


discrimination in employment, our country is a signatory of ILO Convention 111,
which aims to eliminate to discrimination in employment through promotion of
equality of treatment and opportunities.9

To be discriminated against due to a natural and unstoppable process of aging is


to impose another glass ceiling that is just as or even more difficult to break than
that of gender. And if one is a woman who offered the prime years of her life
looking after the family, the burden of finding work after the age of 40, sometimes
even 30, gets even heavier, thus forcing many of our female kababayans to risk
their lives and honor as domestic workers in the Middle East.10

Senator Pia Cayetano expressed the scope of the bill is on age discrimination.
Other forms of discrimination are not part of the coverage of the Bill and to include
them would be unfaithful to the true intention of the bill.11

The True intention of the law is to give equal opportunity and even the playing
field to both young and old, that they may be given opportunity to be employed
without being excluded by the reason of their age. This law also intends to prevent
discrimination based on age and punish employers who’ll be in violation of the
said law.

7
Senate Journal Session No. 7, 16th Congress, 2nd Regular Session (August 12, 2014)
8
Senate Journal Session No. 81, 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session (June 9, 2014)
9
Senate Journal Session No. 81, 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session (June 9, 2014)
10
Senate Journal Session No. 82, 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session (June 10, 2014)
11
Senate Journal Session No. 81, 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session (June 9, 2014)