Employee Equality in the Philippines

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THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPGBLIC) OF THE PHILIPPINES ) First Regular Session SENATE S. NO. i* P P

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Introduced by Senator Flavier



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EXPLANATORY NOTE The basic constitutional prohibition ggainst undue discrimination is found in Article Ill. Section I of the Constitution which states: “SECTION I. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law, or shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws.” In the employment contact, the right to equal protection is amplified in the first paragraph of Article XIII, Section 3: “SEC. 3. 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. ” To carry out the constitutional mandate, the Labor Code declares as basic policy: “SEC. 3. Declaration of basic policy. - 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.” A survey of existing laws, however, reveals the lack of comprehensive legislation which touch on undue discrimination against women, members of certain religious, regional or ethnic groups, the elderly, homosexuals, and disabled. Sometimes, even Filipino workers are discriminated in their own country an account of their race. Congress has improved the plight of workingwomen by enacting RA 6725 which strengthens the prohibition on discrimination against them with respect to the terms and conditions of a woman’s employment. There appears, however, no provision of law which protects womqn regarding the other aspects of an employer-employee relationship, such as during pre-employment or with respect to labor relations or as regards promotion to supervisory or managerial positions. The same may be said of disabled persons whose rights are protected by the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (RA 7277), insofar as access to opportunities for suitable employment. Again, the law is silent as regards the other aspects of ernploye r-employee relations . Aside from the broad pronouncement in the Labor Code, no further protection is provided against discrimination on the basis of race or creed. There

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appears to be an absence o laws which afford protection for the other f marginalized groups.

In an effort to fill Skis lack,this bill therefore seeks to expand the coverage of legal protection against discrimination on the basis o the above attributes from f the time of pre-employment and hbor relations and promotions to supervisory managerial positions. It also provides the mechanisms for the implementation of the same. f Ultimately, the elimination o all forms of discrimination against all workers will result in the enhancement o their economic viability and will make them f realize their full potential i the srcrrvice of the nation. n

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THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC) OF THE PHILIPPINES First Regular Session ) SENAT

s. NO.

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I

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Introduced by Senator Flavier

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THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUM1TY ACT

Be it enacted by the Senate and the Uouse of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION I.Declaration of Policy.

- It is the policy of the State to

protect and .enhance the right of all people to human dignity and reduce economic inequalities by promoting equality of employment opportunities for all regardless of sex, race, creed, age, appearance, sexual-orientation, regional or ethnic origin, disability, weight or height.

SEC. 2. Definition of Terms For th8 purposes of this Act:
2.1.

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The term 'employer" means a person, natural or juridical, domestic or foreign, who carries on in the Philippines any trade, business, industry, undertaking, or activity of any kind and uses the services of fifteen (15) or more employees who are under the...
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