By Ben Rosario
A senior opposition lawmaker has sought a review on-the-job training rules in the country following reports that local and foreign corporations have been exploiting the program to dodge minimum wage and other labor laws.
In House Resolution No. 2078, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe called for a congressional inquiry in aid of legislation into the “efficacy of the continuous” application of Republic Act 7686 or the Dual Training System Act of 1994.
Batocabe said he has received confirmed reports that the provisions of the law are being “abused” by certain companies.
Batocabe cited as example hundreds of workers employed by the Cebu Mitsumi, a subsidiary of the Japanese firm Menebeamitsumi Inc., are being exploited as a result of HR 7686.
He explained that under RA 7686, corporations are encouraged to give workers proper training and expand their operations in the Philippines.
“Though RA 7686 covers industrial, agricultural and other business establishments, said the law is often taken advantage by manufacturing companies, which are mostly subsidiaries of foreign companies,” the partylist solon said.
Batocabe said he has received complaints from many workers that they only receive daily allowances way below the minimum wage notwithstanding the fact that they are no longer trainees and are made to do regular tasks in their firms.
. “One such report is that Cebu Mitsumi Inc., a subsidiary of MinebeaMitsubmi, had taken advantage of the benefits of RA 7386,” he revealed.
He added: “With the lapse of more than 20 years and the obvious improvement of knowledge and skills of Filipino workers, there is a need to review the implementation of RA 7686.”
The House Committee on Labor and Employment chaired by Cagayan Rep. Randolph Ting has been assigned to conduct the probe.
Batocabe called on the House panel to invite officials of Cebu Mitsumi to shed light into the issue.
“The need for an investigation on the efficacy of the implementation of RA 7686 is necessary to safeguard the welfare of Filipino workers and for compliance with the constitutionally-mandated full protection of labor,” stated Batocabe.