The government will continue to protect the rights of workers, as mandated by the Constitution, a Palace official said.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda cited the improvement in the Bureau of Labor Standards as among the government efforts to enhance the plight of workers in the country.
Secretary Lacierda said that according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the number of strikes per year has been limited to less than 10.
He also noted that of the 159 notices of strike filed last year, only two pushed through.
This, he said, is the result of DOLE’s efforts to implement the Single Entry Approach, wherein filed labor cases go through a 30-day conciliation-mediation period.
"We would like to be partners in progress and as much as we'd like the businesses to thrive so that we can employ more workers, we are also very consciously aware and mindful of their need to make sure that the plight of our laborers, our employees are also amply enhanced and protected. So we continue to do that. Our position is that: We would like to see labor and management as partners in progress, not as adversaries,” Lacierda explained.
When asked to comment on reports that the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will stop holding dialogues with the government, Lacierda said “we will continue to engage any sector that is willing to listen to us.”
"We have always spoken to TUCP. There are certain issues that have been discussed with the Secretary of Labor and we continue to discuss those things. Perhaps, some of them may not be to their entire satisfaction but we have certainly addressed a number, if not most, of the issues that they have raised; and we will continue to do so,” he said.
"We always talk to people who would like to discuss matters with us. But if they chose not to, it is our obligation to continue to fight for it and protect the rights of our workers. That is a constitutionally mandated obligation. It is in the Constitution. It is our job as members of the national government to provide protection for our workers,” the Palace official added.