of rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of
tenure, just and humane conditions of work, social protection and other core
labor standards are some of the salient points of the law recently signed by
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Republic Act No. 11551 also known
as “Labor Education Act,” was signed by President Duterte on May 27, 2021. The
passage of the law would integrate labor education in the tertiary curriculum.
Both public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) are covered by the
“All public and private higher
education institutions shall integrate labor education as part of an elective
course; and as far as practicable, hold a Labor Empowerment Career Guidance
Conference which graduating students shall attend,” the law read.
Verily, labor education,
according to the law, is defined as “teaching of basic knowledge on labor
rights and other skills relating to negotiation, fostering smooth interpersonal
relations in the workplace, and mechanisms for redress of grievances and other
The recently signed measure was authored
by Congressman Raymond Democrito Cañete Mendoza, TUCP Party-list Representative,
under House Bill No. 4466.
The counterpart measure of the Senate under Senate Bill No. 1513 was
authored by Senator Joel Villanueva, Senate Chair, Committee on Higher
Education. Under SB Bill No. 1513, it consolidated other related bills on labor
education as well as the counterpart measure of the bill authored by
The law recognizes the need for the state to put in place as mechanism
to educate new labor entrants in the field of work, employers and entrepreneurs
on their constitutional rights and responsibilities in promoting industrial
peace and harmony at the workplace and social progress in society, the law
“Clearly, the government must strive to make every Filipino worker aware
of his or her right. It is equally unfortunate that even Filipino entrepreneurs
are also inadequately educated on labor rights, noted Senator Villanueva.
Villanueva, the Chamber’s Labor
Committee Chair also made a categorical explanation, stating, that due to the
pandemic massive job displacements and implementation of various company
cost-cutting measure were implemented by businesses.
Contrary to this, it is important
that we have a labor force who is knowledgeable of their labor right and
remedies under the law in case their rights are violated, added Senator
Apparently, due to lack of
knowledge both on the part of the workers and entrepreneurs on labor rights and
access to legal remedies are common denominators where labor rights of workers
are easily disregarded.
Consequently, a huge number of
Filipino workers in the country and abroad still face problems due to disregard
of current laws on the right and protection of workers, Senator Villanueva
Workers’ problems such as
concerning fair wages, job security, safe workplaces, social protection,
workers’ welfare and benefits, unfair labor practices and other issues related
to labor and employment are common issues affecting today’s workforce.
Predicated on this, I hope the
new law, R.A. 11551 will serve as a catalyst for change in the labor front. It
also seeks to include labor education in the technical and vocational education
and training (TVET) curriculum.
The coverage and quality of labor
education shall be included in a comprehensive curriculum review to be
conducted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The CHED and TESDA are mandated
in consultation with the DOLE and relevant stakeholders shall formulate the
implementing rules and regulations to effectively implement the provisions of
the newly signed law.