/ 16 March 2021

THE SENATE on Monday ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the labor education bill which seeks to improve education and awareness on labor laws.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate labor committee, described the development as a “golden opportunity” for employers and workers to achieve harmony in the workplace and create a culture of compliance.

“Today, we give our nation a golden opportunity: to attain a situation where labor rights are highly respected, where workplace harmony is the rule and not the exemption and where our workers can lead a fulfilled life. We made the right decision of where this change must begin —  in our schools, right inside our classrooms,” Villanueva said in a statement.

“For we always believe that change begins in education; that good ends can only be attained when we take away ignorance and teach dignity, respect, responsibility and workplace values,” he added.

Villanueva said the bicameral conference committee adopted the Senate version on the integration of labor education in higher education curriculum, particularly into the general education curriculum.

The bicameral conference committee also agreed to integrate labor education into the technical and vocational education curriculum, he said.

For TVIs offering non-degree certificate and diploma courses ranging from one to three years, labor education should be integrated as an elective course.

Labor education should be integrated in the modules of short-term courses ranging from one month to one year.

“We are one step closer to an empowered workforce, one where both employer and employee are informed of their respective rights and obligations under the law,” Villanueva said.

“Sa ganito pong paraan, mababawasan natin ang mang-aabuso at maaabuso, dahil alam ng isa’t isa ang karapatan at obligasyon nila bilang employer at manggagawa,” he added.