Oliver Bugarin 3 0 0 4 min to read

Senate directs DOLE to address ongoing pay and benefit problems.

The Senate mandated on Monday that the Department of Labor and Employment investigate ongoing claims of underpayment and a lack of benefits, notably in the private sector.

Senator Raffy Tulfo advocated for openness in labor conflicts and careful oversight of working conditions as some employees reportedly continue to earn less than the minimum wage.

Tulfo stated at the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development’s organizational meeting that he had heard concerns about workers in the National Capital Region receiving daily salaries of PHP250 rather than the required minimum of P570.

“Ang mga tao na hindi makakatanggap ng maayos na sweldo po namin hanapin nyo. Construction, manufacturing, and patahian kami. The national minimum wage is PHP 570, while the salary is only PHP 250. Natin sana ma-achieve. (We need to find employees who still receive PHP250 per month rather than PHP570.) They are present on construction sites, sewing businesses, and factories. I hope we can make this happen. Tulfo assured DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma that it was not impossible.

According to Tulfo, other ongoing labor issues include a lack of benefits, dangerous working conditions, a lack of a 13th-month salary, and a failure to remit Social Security System contributions.

Additionally, he asked DOLE to engage in more open negotiations when resolving labor issues, noting that it is customary for complainants, company representatives, and labor arbitrators to meet behind closed doors, making it difficult for the worker to defend his or her rights.

“What happens is the labor arbitrator would force the complainant to accept the offer of the firm, since it is not transparent,” Tulfo said. “Ang nangyayari po kasi, sasabihin ng labor arbiter sa complainant na tanggapin na lang ang alok.”

To protect the workers, particularly those coming from the provinces, he urged that DOLE instruct businesses to display notices about wages, working conditions, overtime calculations, holiday pay, and other fundamental information.

Tulfo counseled National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Administrator Gerardo Nograles to purge the organization of fixers and slothful sheriffs who cause delays in case resolution.

Nograles, who has spent 16 years working for the NLRC, claimed to have already started changes to get fixers out of the way and get sheriffs to expedite labor cases.

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