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Thursday, April 18, 2024

House oks bill simplifying registration of labor unions

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Registration for labor unions and federations may soon be easier and faster after the House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 8186 which streamlines the process of their registration and reduce the minimum membership requirement.

The bill aims to strengthen further the right of workers to self-organization by easing the restrictive Labor Code requirements for the organization of labor unions and federations.

To implement this, the bill, principally authored by Committee on Appropriations Chairman Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City, proposes to amend Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.

For one, the bill amends Article 234 of the Labor Code by lowering the present minimum membership requirement for the registration of independent unions from 20 percent to 10 percent.

Secondly, the bill amends Article 235 of the Labor Code by allowing submission of applications to be done in person or online to the appropriate Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office or Field Office or the Bureau of Labor Relations subject to verification by the appropriate office. The BLR shall prescribe such forms as maybe necessary for this purpose.

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The BLR or the appropriate DOLE Regional or Field Office shall act on registration applications within three working days from their receipt.

At present, Nograles said the Labor Code provides that the BLR shall act on the registration applications within 30 days from filing. It also mandates that all requisite application documents and papers shall be certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer of the organization, as the case may be, and attested to by its president.

Thirdly, the bill amends Article 236 of the Labor Code so that in case the documents supporting the application for registration are incomplete or do not contain the required certification and attestation, the DOLE Regional Office or the BLR shall, within three days from receipt of the application for registration, notify in writing the applicant or labor organization concerned of the necessary requirements and to complete the same within 30 days from receipt of notice.

Nograles said if the applicant or labor organization concerned fails to complete the requirements within the time prescribed, the application for registration shall be returned without prejudice to filing a new application or notice.

Lastly, the bill amends Article 237 of the Labor Code by reducing the number of affiliated local chapters required for purposes of registration as a federation or national union from 10 to five.

The bill was sponsored on the floor by Committee on Labor and Employment Chairman Rep. Randolp Ting of Cagayan.

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