Cong Duterte proposes tweaks to NLRC to make it more effective in resolving labor cases


At a glance

    Foto2.jpg Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte (Rep. Duterte’s office)

    Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte is highlighting ahead of Labor Day a measure seeking to create an additional division in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in a bid to further improve the body’s accomplishment rate in resolving labor-related disputes.

    Duterte filed for this purpose House Bill (HB) No.4958, which proposes to increase the NLRC divisions from eight to nine, with the additional division to be located in Davao to handle cases in Mindanao.

    As provided under the Labor Code, the NLRC’s first to sixth divisions are located in Metro Manila. The seventh is based in Cebu in the Visayas, while the the eighth in Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.

    The bill, co-authored by Benguet lone district Rep. Eric Go Yap, also provides for the addition of three NLRC commissioners, bringing the total number of  the commission’s members to 27, including the chairperson of the body.

    These changes are sought “in support of its (NLRC) mission to resolve labor disputes in the fairest, quickest, least expensive and most effective way possible".

    The NLRC is a quasi-judicial body attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). It is mandated to decide on labor and management disputes through compulsory arbitration and alternative modes of dispute resolution.

    According to its 2021 performance report, the NLRC maintained a high disposition rate and significantly reduced the number of its pending cases.

    The commission posted an overall output of 32,433 cases for compulsory arbitration of which 24,262 are original cases from the Regional Arbitration Branches  (RABs) and 8,171 are appealed cases from the Commission Proper.

    Of the NLRC’s 98 percent overall target,  the RABs and the commission proper were able to dispose of 27,754, which translates into an 86 percent accomplishment rate.

    However, on the percentage of cases resolved within three months from the filing or receipt of complaints, the RABs were able to accomplish only 38 percent of its 69 percent target for 2021.

    The current eight divisions of the NLRC are composed of three members each-- the presiding commissioner  comes from  the government sector, while the two other members represent the workers’ and employers’ sectors.