DOLE retains jurisdiction over labor disputes in the ecozone
The removal of the competence of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in dealing with labor-related cases in economic zones is considered illegal.
The Ministry of Labor and Employment clarified, amid concerns from labor groups, that the Alliance for Industrial Peace and Program Office (Aippo) project would transfer jurisdiction to the Philippine National Police (PNP) .
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III assured groups that DOLE will remain the lead agency in handling labor-related matters in economic zones, even under the proposed Aippo. .
âWe maintain our jurisdiction over labor disputes in Peza as jurisdiction is conferred by law. Under the LC [Labor Code] DOLE has jurisdiction over labor disputes, âBello told BusinessMirror in a text message.
“Whatever alliance is formed, the DOLE will always have jurisdiction over labor matters,” he added.
Over the weekend, the Nagkaisa labor coalition expressed concern over the Aippo proposed by the PNP and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) as a threat to trade union rights.
âIt will also lead to massive profiling of EPZ workers. In short, the MOA will institute a totalitarian regime led by the PNP, âsaid Joshua Mata, secretary general of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa in Progresibong Manggagawa in a statement.
Nagkaisa President and Chairman of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) Sonny Matula said the implementation of Aippo would only worsen working conditions for workers in EPZs.
“The real ‘industrial crimes’ that Aippo supposedly wants to prevent are those perpetrated by Ecozone locators who violate workers’ rights to organize, to give low wages, to provide conditions of slavery, to ignore the occupational safety and health and not paying the right taxes. “said Matula.
Partido Manggagawa (PM) chairman and Nagkaisa spokesman Renato Magtubo said they now demand that the government reject the proposed Aippo and respect existing laws, which respect labor rights.
“DOLE, Peza and workers ‘and employers’ groups should strive to realize and implement Peza’s laws relating to the formation of mechanisms to achieve labor peace and harmony in ecozones,” Magtubo said.