D. Legal basis under the 1987 Constitution, Civil Code, and Labor Code

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

Frequency: ★★☆☆☆

1. 1987 Constitution

a. Article II – Declaration of Principles and State Policies

The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. (Section 10, Article II, 1987 Constitution)

The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare. (Section 18, Article II, Ibid.)

b. Article III – Bill of Rights

The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. (Section 8, Article III, Ibid.)

c. Article XII – National Economy and Patrimony

The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive. (Section 12, Article XII, Ibid.)

d. Article XIII – Social Justice and Human Rights

The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.

It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law.

The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace.

The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth. (Section 3, Article XIII, Ibid.)

BAR EXAM TIPS
1) Section 13, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution has been asked several times during previous bar exams. The focus is on these phrases/clauses:
a. “full protection to labor” and “local and overseas” –> these the basis for labor law being applicable to migrant workers or overseas filipino workers (OFWs). Despite them working abroad, they are still covered and subject to Philippine labor laws.
b. “self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law” – these are the basis for organizing and forming labor organizations and unions for purposes of collective bargaining and negotiations, including the right to strike which should be “in accordance with law”
c. “security of tenure” – this is the basis for the constitutional right to security of tenure in relation to due process termination (just cause) or separation from employment (authorize cause)
d. “preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes” – this is the basis for allowing consenting parties to submit their labor dispute via voluntary arbitration before voluntary arbitrators with the NCMB, and not before Labor Arbiters with the NLRC.
2) Note that “full protection to labor” includes foreigners/aliens working or employed in the country. Thus, they are protected to and they can seek relief/protection under Philippine laws. However, before they can do so, they have to establish that they have a valid employment contract and an alien employment permit (AEP).

2. Civil Code

a. Civil Code provisions related to labor and employment

Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. (Article 19, Civil Code)

The relations between capital and labor are not merely contractual. They are so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the common good. Therefore, such contracts are subject to the special laws on labor unions, collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, working conditions, hours of labor and similar subjects. (Article 1700, Ibid.)

Neither capital nor labor shall act oppressively against the other, or impair the interest or convenience of the public. (Article 1701, Ibid.)

In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer. (Article 1702, Ibid.)

No contract which practically amounts to involuntary servitude, under any guise whatsoever, shall be valid. (Article 1703, Ibid.)

3. Labor Code

a. Labor Code on interpreting rules and regulations

The State shall afford protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employers. The State shall assure the rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work. (Article 3, Labor Code)

All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of this Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor. (Article 4, Ibid.)

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