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http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/07/07MANILA2343.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2343
2007-07-11 08:57
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO8980
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2343/01 1920857
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110857Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7359
INFO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//FPA//
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 16 MANILA 002343

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL – MITTELHAUSER
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP
LABOR FOR ILAB – HALEY
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES: FOREIGN LABOR TRENDS REPORT

REF: STATE 40337

¶1. (U) MissionQs Foreign Labor Trends Report
follows below. Per reftel guidance, the
report is divided into four sections: I)
Summary; II) Foreign Investment Potential;
III) Directory of Labor Contacts; and IV)
Key Sources. Points of contact on labor
issues are Labor Attache Mario Fernandez
(FerndandezMA2@state.gov) and Political
Officer Barry Fullerton
(FullertonTB@state.gov).

¶2. (U) Foreign Labor Trends Report –
Philippines

¶I. SUMMARY

The Philippines, with a population of 87
million, is a democratic republic based on
the U.S. model. The 1987 Constitution
reestablished a presidential system of
government with a bicameral legislature, an
independent judiciary, and a multiparty
system. The present administration of
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is
generally pro-business and highly supportive
of foreign investment. Corruption and
threats from several terrorist groups remain
major challenges.

The Philippine economy remained resilient in
2006 despite escalating world fuel costs,
unfavorable weather conditions, and an
unsuccessful attempt to impeach the
President. In 2006, GDP registered a modest
growth of 5.4 percent, while net Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI) increased to about
US$2.3 billion. The economic growth under a
generally stable macroeconomic condition
contributed to the improvement of the
Philippine labor market.

More than 30 percent of the population lived
below the poverty line, with the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) the most
marginalized area. The Administration has
pledged to continue its efforts to attack
poverty, crumbling infrastructure, declining
education systems, trade and investment
barriers, and terrorist attacks, with
increasing success in recent years.

¶A. Government Institutions

The Constitution provides for the protection
of labor and the promotion of equal
employment opportunities for all citizens.
It also guarantees the rights of workers to
self-organization, collective bargaining and
negotiations, and to strike in accordance
with the law. The 1974 Labor Code, as
amended, consolidated the labor and social
laws to provide protection to labor groups,
promote employment and human resources
development, and ensure industrial peace.

The Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) is the lead government agency
handling the implementation of the
provisions of the Labor Code and the
coordination of government policies and
programs on labor. The DOLE has 16 regional
offices and six bureaus. DOLE’s Bureau of
Labor Employment and Statistics (BLES)
consolidates and analyzes labor and
employment statistics for the government.
Thirty four (34) Philippine Overseas Labor
Offices administer and enforce DOLE’s
programs and polices for overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs).

Other agencies within DOLEQs purview
include:
— National Conciliation and Mediation
Board (NCMB), which settles labor disputes

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through conciliation and preventive
mediation;
— National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC), which litigates compulsory
arbitration cases;
— National Wages and Productivity
Commission (NWPC), which sets wages and
improves productivity consistent with
national development plans. There are 16
Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity
Boards to determine minimum wage and other
allowances for workers in the respective
regions;
— Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
(OWWA), which extends social, welfare, and
other assistance to OFWs and their
dependents;
— Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA), which supervises the
deployment of OFWs and regulates private
sector participation in recruitment and
overseas placement; and,
— Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA), which
provides skills training and retraining of
workers to produce a globally competitive
labor force.

¶B. Trade Unions and Organizations

Trade union activity in the country dates
back to the Spanish occupation over a
century ago. The first large unions
represented workers in industries of the
period, including munitions manufacturing,
stevedoring, and commercial printing.

Current laws provide employees both in the
private sector and in government-owned or
controlled corporations the rights to
organize and bargain collectively, along
with a similar right for most government
workers, with the exception of the military
and the police. In 2006, 139 registered
labor federations and some 15,000 private
sector unions represented approximately 1.59
million individuals, 6 percent of the
countryQs 26.4 million private-sector
workers. Nearly 300,000 public sector
employees belonged to 1,617 unions in 2006,
up from 1,556 in 2005.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
(TUCP) is an affiliate of the American
Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial
Organizations (AFL-CIO) through the
International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions (ICFTU). The TUCP worked closely
with AFL-CIOQs Solidarity Center on labor
education programs and anti-trafficking in
persons initiatives. The “Pambansang Diwa
ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PDMP)” or
“National Consciousness of Filipino Workers”
is a TUCP offshoot, and includes port,
seamen, and public service unions among its
affiliates. Although the PDMP does not have
international affiliates, many of its
constituent unions are members of relevant
International Trade Secretariats (ITSs).

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) emerged
in the early 1950s under the influence of a
labor education program at the Ateneo
University of Manila. It is an affiliate of
the World Confederation of Labor (WCL) and
with the WCLQs Brotherhood of Asian Trade
Unions. The Trade Union of the Philippines
and Allied Services (TUPAS) is an affiliate
of the World Federation of Trade Unions
(WFTU) and actively participates in
tripartite (government, business, and labor)
bodies.

The “Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)” or “May 1
Movement,” a leftist oriented labor center
formed in 1980, allegedly retains close ties

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with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The KMU is openly political, projecting
itself as a proponent of “genuine, militant,
and nationalist unionism.” It has members
working in the agricultural, manufacturing,
services, and transportation sectors. The
National Confederation of Labor (NCL)
leaders broke formal ties with the KMU in
1992-93 to form a confederation loosely
aligned with populist reform movements.
NCLQs affiliates include many farm and
textile worker unions.

The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
represents a left-of-center grouping whose
leaders are aligned with Akbayan, a social
democratic reform movement. APL has
supported Akbayan’s bid to win
Constitutionally-mandated “party-list” seats
(representing marginalized groups) in
Congress since 1998. Hotel and restaurant
worker unions are among its key local
affiliates.

The “Kapatiran ng mga Pangulo ng Unyon sa
Pilipinas (KPUP)” or “Brotherhood of Union
Presidents in the Philippines,” began
operations in 1996 as an organization of
local union presidents from both independent
unions and those affiliated with the major
confederations. The KPUPQs stated goal is
to facilitate the consultation of leaders at
the local level by providing support
services and a venue. KPUP leaders also
cite a goal of using the organization to
encourage more unity in the Philippine labor
movement. KPUP local leaders pledge respect
for other unionsQ pickets, and cooperate
across confederation lines.

The “Bukluran Ng Manggagawang Pilipino”
(BMP) or “Union of Filipino Workers,” is
another splinter group of the KMU, and is
active within the KPUP. This group
occasionally forms tactical alliances with
large and small local unions. Prominent
among these are the unions representing
workers in the major electrical-power-
distribution firm, Meralco, and some unions
in the power-generation sector.

In 2000, the TUCP, FFW, TUPAS, APL, and the
Alliance of Free Workers (AFW) formed the
“Labor Solidarity Movement” to fight
perceived anti-labor policies of then-
President Estrada and, later supported the
successful calls for Estrada’s ouster. The
APL subsequently withdrew from the LSM,
while the newer Philippine Organization of
Labor Unions (POLU) joined the LSM. Now
composed of all-moderate labor centers, the
LSM advocates for fair labor policies and
meets with President Arroyo on labor-related
issues, including wage increases.

Three international organizations are
currently involved with labor issues in the
Philippines. The Manila office of the
American Center for International Labor
Solidarity (ACILS) works closely with TUCP
to foster a democratic trade union movement.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung works with
numerous labor groups in promoting worker
rights and labor standards. The Konrad
Adenauer Foundation continues to underwrite
seminars on labor-related topics. Various
international trade federations (ITFs) also
sustain programs to strengthen health and
safety practices in certain industries,
including mining and construction. Other
ITFs focus on improving unionsQ organizing
strategies in labor-intensive industries
like export garment production.

¶C. Labor Standards and Worker Rights

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The Right of Association

The law provides that workers, including
most public sector employees, with the
exception of the military and police, may
freely associate and form and join unions.
The law also provides workers the right to
strike once they have demonstrated just
cause and exhausted all methods of outside
arbitration and mediation. Trade unions are
independent of the government. Generally,
trade unions are free of partisan control
although some have direct political
affiliations. Unions also have the right to
form or join federations or other labor
groups.

In practice, the management of some
businesses and industries uses extralegal
methods to prevent the formation of unions.
Labor law applies uniformly throughout the
country, including the Special Economic
Zones (SEZs); however, local political
leaders and officials who govern the SEZs
have in some cases attempted to frustrate
union organizing efforts by maintaining
union-free or strike-free policies. A
conflict over interpretation of the SEZ
law’s provisions for labor inspection
created further obstacles to the enforcement
of workers’ rights to organize. Labor
groups alleged that some companies in the
SEZs have occasionally used frivolous
lawsuits as a means of harassing union
leaders. Some firms also continued to hire
employees on a contractual basis. By law, a
contract employee does not have the same
rights as a permanent worker, and unions do
not usually accept them as members. There
are regulations regarding the length of time
an employer can keep an employee on a
contractual basis before the employer must
hire the employee permanently, but
enforcement of these regulations is poor.

The Right to Organize and Bargain
Collectively

The law protects collective bargaining,
which is widespread. The law stipulates
that a company must bargain with organized
unions that comply with Labor Code
procedures. The union must provide a strike
notice, respect a mandatory cooling-off
period, obtain the approval of a majority of
its members, and exhaust all means of
conciliation before calling a strike. The
National Conciliation and Mediation Board
(NCMB) reported only 12 strikes in 2006,
less than half the number reported in 2005.
Some of this success was due to the active
role of the NCMB in mediating disputes and
averting strikes, particularly in high-
profile multinational cases. Many companies
have also adopted the use of Labor
Management Councils within their
establishments to resolve grievances and
labor disputes. The Labor Code applies
uniformly throughout the country and in the
SEZs. However, only 1.2 percent of the
workforce, or approximately 313,000 workers,
worked under collective bargaining
agreements. Some workers have reported
receiving retaliation for involvement in
union organizing.

Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced labor, including
forced and compulsory labor by children.
Despite the governmentQs efforts, there are
occasional reports of forced and compulsory
labor, particularly involving children,
mainly in prostitution, drug trafficking,
and other illegal sectors of the economy.
In countries throughout the world,

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unscrupulous recruiters exploited a
significant number of Filipino workers. The
Philippine government, however, has one of
the most effective systems of recruitment,
deployment, and assistance for its overseas
workers. Unlike many other countries that
have high recruitment fees bordering on
indentured servitude or bonded labor, the
Philippines has a reasonable recruitment
fee.

Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age
for Employment

The law prohibits the employment of children
under the age of 15, except under the direct
and sole responsibility of parents or
guardians, or in cases in which employment
in cinema, theater, radio, or television is
essential to the production. The law allows
employment of those between the ages of 15
and 18 for such hours and periods of the day
as the DOLE Secretary determines but forbids
the employment of persons younger than 18
years of age in hazardous or dangerous work.
The law also stipulates that children may
not work more than 20 hours per week, or
more than four hours a day, and may not work
at night. However, enforcement of the laws
is spotty. The government estimated there
were 4 million working children aged 5 to 17
years, and more than half of these children
were exposed to hazardous working
conditions. Children work in quarries,
mines, ports, and fishing boats, which the
law defines as among the worst forms of
child labor.

The government treats incidents of child
labor as criminal cases. However, such
cases seldom resulted in the prosecution and
conviction of employers. Most are settled
out of court with the childQs parents. The
law imposes stiffer penalties on employers
and parents engaged in support of the worst
forms of child labor. In 2006, DOLE ordered
the closure of three establishments
apparently engaged in prostitution of
minors. Since 1995, there have been only
four convictions for violating the child
labor law. Government, industry groups, and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
implemented programs to prevent the
engagement of children in exploitative
labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor supports
several child labor projects in the
Philippines: the ILO International Program
on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC)
“Philippine Time-Bound Program”; World
Vision’s “ABK Education Initiative”; and,
Winrock International’s “Community-based
Innovations to Combat Child Labor through
Education” (CIRCLE) project.

Discrimination in Employment

By law, women have the same worker rights
and protections as men. Unemployment for
women was lower (7.6 percent) than men (8.2
percent) in 2006. However, womenQs
salaries, particularly in top executive and
managerial positions, were generally lower
than that of their male counterparts. More
women than men enter secondary and higher
education. The National Commission on the
Role of Filipino Women, composed of 10
government officials and 10 NGO leaders
appointed by the President, acts as an
oversight body to press for effective
implementation of programs benefiting women.

The law provides for equal physical access
for persons with disabilities (estimated to
be 10 percent of the population) to all

MANILA 00002343 006 OF 016

public buildings and establishments and for
“the rehabilitation, self-development, and
self-reliance of disabled (physical and
mental) persons and their integration into
the mainstream of society.” The DOLE’s
Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) maintains
registers of persons with disabilities,
indicating their skills and abilities. BLE
monitors private and public places of
employment for violations of labor standards
regarding persons with disabilities and
promotes the establishment of cooperatives
and self-employment projects for them.

Despite laws and special programs to protect
the rights of and to assist indigenous
peoples, the remoteness of the areas that
these groups inhabit and cultural bias often
prevent their full integration into society.
Many indigenous children suffered from lack
of basic services, health, and education.

The labor laws protect foreign workers in
the country. Foreign workers must obtain
work permits and may not engage in certain
occupations. Typically their work
conditions were better than those of
Philippine citizens.

Minimum Wage

The first minimum wage standards were put
into effect in the 1950s. Tripartite wage
boards set minimum rates in each of the
countryQs 16 administrative regions. In
establishing different regional wage levels,
the regional wage boards consider regional
factors such as local prices and rates of
inflation, the need to attract investment,
and the economic stability of the region.
The highest minimum wage rates were in the
National Capital Region, where the minimum
daily wage for nonagricultural workers was
USD $7.60 (PHP 350). The lowest minimum
wages were in the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao, where the daily
agricultural wage was USD $4.35 (PHP 200).
The regional wage boards approved increases
between US$0.18 to US$0.45 to the minimum
wage in 2005, and the same increase in 2006.
Many workers, especially in the informal
sector, worked below the minimum wage set
for their region.

Hours Worked

The standard workweek is 48 hours for most
categories of industrial workers and 40
hours for government workers, with an eight-
hour per day limit. The government mandates
an overtime rate of 125 percent of the
hourly rate on ordinary days and 130 percent
on rest days and holidays. There is no
limit on the number of overtime hours that
an employer may require, but the law
stipulates at least one full day of rest
each week for workers.

Occupational Safety and Health

The law provides for a comprehensive set of
occupational safety and health standards.
Enforcement of these laws, however, is
incomplete. There are continuing reports of
dangerous working environments, occupational
safety accidents and deaths, and exposure to
toxic substances that can lead to long-term
damage. DOLE’s Occupational Safety and
Health Center (OSHC) has primary
responsibility for policy formulation and
review of occupational safety and health
regulations and standards, but has few
inspectors nationwide.

In 2005, the DOLE Secretary ordered a
nationwide program on tuberculosis (TB)

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prevention and control in the workplace.
The order required all private companies to
include TB prevention and treatment as part
of the companiesQ social policies.

¶D. Social Safety Net

There is no statutory unemployment insurance
and some firms do not comply with the
requirement of a half-month severance pay
for each year of service. The unemployed
often turn to the informal sector Q-
notably, agriculture, vending, personal
services, or home-based workshops — in
order to earn income to meet basic needs.
To assist the jobless in establishing micro-
enterprise businesses, various government
agencies operated low-interest loan
programs. Additionally, TESDA provided re-
training for laid off workers by placing
them in 6-month apprenticeship programs that
pay 75 percent of the minimum rate.

The Social Security System (SSS) offered a
viable retirement fund for many workers,
with both employers and employees making
contributions. The SSS offered a limited
program for low-interest, short-term loans
of up to US$ 250 for recently unemployed
workers with sufficient SSS credits.

Since the 1970s, Philippine government
agencies and a flourishing recruitment
industry have helped the jobless to seek
work abroad. Exporting labor not only frees
up jobs within the country, but also results
in the repatriation of funds that often
assist unemployed and elderly family
members.

¶E. Overseas Filipino Workers

The Philippines is second only to Mexico in
the number of its citizens who work abroad,
with more than 8 million overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) — about 10 percent of the
population and 20 percent of the workforce Q
– around the world. More than 20 percent of
the estimated 1.2 million seafarers in the
world are from the Philippines. The US$12.8
billion in annual remittances of OFWs, more
than half of which originate in the United
States, was a key factor in the 5.9 percent
growth of GNP and 5.6 percent increase in
consumer spending in 2006. Remittances from
OFWs continued to be a major source of
foreign exchange and capital for creating
small businesses.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency
(POEA) is responsible for registering
domestic recruiters and keeping track of
Filipino workers overseas. The POEA works
with the governments of many receiving
countries to protect the rights of its
overseas workers. The government also
provided assistance through its diplomatic
missions in countries with substantial
numbers of migrant workers.

At the 12th Summit of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations in Cebu in January
2007, the ten member states under the
chairmanship of Philippine President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo adopted an “ASEAN
Declaration on the Protection and Promotion
of the Rights of Migrant Workers” to promote
the “full potential and dignity” of these
workers and their family members and to
provide legal and social protections and
assistance.

¶F. Combating Trafficking in Persons

A comprehensive 2003 anti-trafficking law
(Republic Act 9208) defines several

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activities related to trafficking in persons
as illegal and imposes stiff penalties of up
to life imprisonment for convicted
offenders. Nonetheless, the Philippines
remains a source, transit, and destination
country for internationally trafficked
persons for the purposes of sexual
exploitation and forced labor. Internal
trafficking also remains a serious problem,
primarily from rural areas such as the
Visayas and Mindanao to urban areas for
forced labor as domestic workers and factory
workers, and in the drug trade, and for
sexual exploitation. Traffickers also
targeted the many persons seeking overseas
employment. Most recruits were girls and
young women ages 13 to 30 from poor farming
communities. The traffickers generally
included private employment recruiters and
their partners in organized crime. Many
recruiters targeted persons from their own
hometowns.

In 2005, Philippine courts convicted four
traffickers and sentenced them to life
imprisonment under the 2003 anti-trafficking
law. In 2007, a court convicted yet another
individual under this law and also sentenced
the defendant to life imprisonment. There
are currently at least 117 trials now
underway under this act or other
trafficking-related laws, with another 122
cases in the preliminary investigation
phase. The government is actively opposed
to trafficking in persons, but individual
and groups of customs officials, border
guards, local police, and immigration
officers reportedly have received bribes
from traffickers or otherwise assisted in
their operations. Corruption and
inefficiencies in the judicial system
hampered the government’s ability
effectively and swiftly to prosecute
trafficking cases. Government agencies and
numerous NGOs have undertaken numerous
public awareness activities to curb
trafficking, conducted capacity building
activities for law enforcement officials,
and provided protective services to victims
of trafficking. POEA conducted pre-
employment orientation seminars to departing
OFWs, informing them the dangers of
trafficking and illegal recruitment in
exploitative working conditions.

II. FOREIGN INVESTMENT POTENTIAL

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows
increased to $2.35 billion in 2006, nearly
double the 2005 level. A generally healthy
financial and macro-economic structure, a
highly trainable, English-speaking
workforce, and a wealth of natural resources
contribute to the confidence of
multinational corporations to conduct
business operations in the Philippines. The
workforce is suitable for manufacturing and
service enterprises and is also capable of
learning the skills necessary for technical
jobs, such as the staffing of international
call centers. The Philippines is the
largest copper producer in Southeast Asia
and one of the top 10 gold producers in the
world. In December 2004, the Supreme Court
upheld the constitutionality of the 1995
Mining Act, which allowed up to 100%
foreign-owned companies to invest in large-
scale exploration, development, and
utilization of minerals, oil, and gas.

The 1991 Foreign Investment Act (FIA)
contains two “negative lists” that outline
areas in which foreign investment is
restricted or limited, which the government
normally updates every two years. The
restrictions stem from a constitutional

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provision — Section 10 of Article XII —
that permits Congress to reserve to
Philippine citizens certain areas of
investment. The most recent update of the
Regular Foreign Investment Negative List was
through an executive order on December 20,
¶2006. Many investors view these
restrictions as a significant factor
limiting foreign investment, especially
compared with other Asian economies.
Waivers are not available under the Foreign
Investment Negative List.

In an effort to attract more FDI, the
Government relaxed taxation of foreign
investment and provided greater investment
security by strengthening banking and
securities regulations. The President also
appointed envoys to promote trade and
foreign investment and eased restrictions on
the ownership of banks and insurance
companies by foreign entities. Other
government efforts to promote the economy
included new retail and e-commerce trade
laws. The service sector continued to be a
key driver of economic growth. The
sustained expansion of this sector was
largely due to the growth of the
telecommunications industry and new
investments in call centers, business
processing outsourcing, and software
development.

The Government began privatization of the
power sector with the enactment of the
Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
in June 2001. The law directed the newly-
created Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
Management Corporation (PSALM) to sell 70
percent of the government-owned National
Power Corporation’s (NPC) income-generating
assets within three years. This move also
opened the power industry for participation
by foreign investors. However, as of August
2006, the NPC only managed to sell six small
hydroelectric power units.

High levels of corruption, weak but
improving protection of intellectual
property rights, the slow pace of energy
sector reform, the need for further fiscal
reforms to boost infrastructure and social
services, and occasional political
volatility remained barriers to achieving
the country’s true investment potential.

Special Economic Zones

Special economic zones (SEZs) played a key
role in attracting new investors to the
country. Within these zones, investors
enjoy tax incentives for new plant
investment, low corporate income tax rates,
and direct access to governmental
administrative services. In 2006, the
number had expanded to 111 SEZs and more
were in the planning or development stages.

These zones were instrumental in creating
new jobs, but Philippine labor leaders have
complained about sometimes poor working
conditions and argued that some local SEZ
administrators have inhibited the emergence
of unions.

The SEZs typically have their own labor
centers to assist investors in recruiting
staff, mediating disputes, and coordinating
with the DOLE and other government agencies.
Issues of jurisdiction in the zones,
combined with unclear legislation, sometimes
caused confusion over which national labor
laws applied and which agency had
enforcement responsibility. SEZ officials
have claimed that the enabling legislation
gives them primary authority to regulate

MANILA 00002343 010 OF 016

labor conditions, while in some cases
national labor authorities feel obligated to
step in. Generally, foreign firms entering
the SEZ sign a contract in which they commit
to use SEZ labor in exchange for the
services that the labor office provides.
Some foreign firms, seeking to avoid
dependence on these labor centers for job
referrals, recruited workers through more
direct means.

Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements

Since the Philippine governmentQs overseas
employment program began in 1974, the
Philippines has forged bilateral labor
agreements with Norway, the United Kingdom,
Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Taiwan,
Switzerland, Libya, Jordan, Qatar, Iraq,
Kuwait, the Commonwealth of Northern
Marianas Islands, Spain, Canada, and the
United Arab Emirates, all labor-receiving
economies. These bilateral labor agreements
broadly focus on the terms and conditions of
labor recruitment and special hiring
arrangements, as well as labor standards and
practices.

In 2003, the Philippines signed a labor
agreement with Indonesia, a labor-sending
country. This was the first successful
attempt of the Philippines to promote and
protect the welfare rights of migrant
workers of labor-sending countries within
the ASEAN region.

The Philippines is a charter member of the
World Trade Organization (WTO). In 1992, the
Philippines signed the ASEAN Framework of
Agreement on Enhancing Economic Cooperation,
which established a common preferential
tariff. The Philippines is also a member of
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
forum and an active participant at the Asia-
Europe Meeting (ASEM).

In September 2006, the Philippines and Japan
signed a bilateral trade agreement, the
Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership
Agreement (JPEPA). This is the PhilippinesQ
first bilateral trade agreement. While
still pending Philippine Senate
ratification, the agreement provides for
elimination or reduction of tariffs on
agricultural and industrial products within
the next 10 years.

The Philippines has bilateral investment
agreements with forty countries. The
general provisions of these agreements
include: the promotion and reciprocal
protection of investments;
nondiscrimination; the free transfer of
capital, payments and earnings; freedom from
expropriation and nationalization; and,
recognition of the principle of subrogation.
The Philippines signed a trade and
investment framework agreement with the
United States in 1989, establishing a
consultative mechanism for the expansion of
trade and investment flows between the two
countries.

III. DIRECTORY OF LABOR CONTACTS

Country code: +63; Area code: 2 (metro
Manila)

¶A. GOVERNMENT CONTACTS

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
DOLE Executive Building, 7th Floor
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 701 to 704 and 706
Fax: 527-2121/2131/5523

MANILA 00002343 011 OF 016

Website: http://www.dole.gov.ph

E-mail: osec@dole.gov.ph
Secretary: Arturo P. Brion

SIPDIS

Undersecretary for Employment, Promotion &
Manpower Development: Danilo P. Cruz.
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 713, 715, and 523-3633;
Fax: 527-3566
E-mail: usecdpc@yahoo.com

Undersecretary for Labor Relations:
Luzviminda G. Padilla
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 710 to 712 and 527-
2124; Fax: 527-3462

E-mail: wpw@dole.gov.ph

Undersecretary for Social Protection and
Legislative Affairs: Ramon C. Lagman
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 717; E-mail:
rcl@dole.gov.ph

Undersecretary for Policy, Programs, and
International Affairs: (vacant)
Tel: 527-3000 loc. 731; Fax: 527-5947

E-mail: useclr@dole.gov.ph

Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics
(BLES)
DOLE Executive Building, 3rd Floor
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 314 & 315; Fax: 527-
5506
Website: http://www.bles.dole.gov.ph
Director: Criselda R. Sy

Information and Publication Service
DOLE Executive Building, 6th Floor
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 624 / 625; Fax: 527-
3446
Director: Jay T. Julian

International Labor Affairs Service
DOLE Executive Building, Ground Floor
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3000 loc. 102 / 103; Fax: 527-
3505/2132
Director: Merliza M. Makinano

National Conciliation & Mediation Board
DOLE Executive Building, Ground Floor
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3467; Fax: 527-3421
Website: http://ncmbco.brinkster.net/
Executive Director: Reynaldo R. Ubaldo
Deputy Executive Director: Eleuterio S.
Cojuanco

National Labor Relations Commission
PPSTA Building, 7th Floor
Banaue Avenue cor P. Florentino Street,
Quezon Avenue
Quezon City
Website: http://www.nlrc.dole.gov.ph/
Phone: 711-1500 / 711-1557; Telefax: 711-
1554
Chairman: Gerardo Benjamin C. Nograles

Occupational Safety and Health Center
OSHC Complex
North Avenue cor Science Road
Diliman, Quezon City
Website: http://www.oshc.dole.gov.ph/
Phone: 929-6036 to 39 (trunkline); 928-6690;
Fax: 929-6030
Executive Director: Dr. Dulce P. Estrella-
Gust

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
OWADEC Building
Gil Puyat Avenue cor F.B. Harrison Street
Pasay City

MANILA 00002343 012 OF 016

Website: http://www.owwa.gov.ph/
Phone: 891-7601 loc. 5401 / 8340148; Fax:
833-0187
Administrator: Marianito Roque
Deputy Administrator: Noriel P. Devanadera

Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration
POEA Building
Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA
Mandaluyong City
Website: http://www.poea.gov.ph
Phone: 722-1163 / 722-1159 / 722-3665; Fax:
724-3724
Administrator: Rosalinda D. Baldoz

Philippine Economic Zone Authority
Roxas Boulevard corner San Luis Street
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: 511-3432 / 3454 / 3455; Fax: 551-3449
/ 891-6380
Administrator: Lilia B. de Lima
Email: dglbl@peza.gov.ph

Institute for Labor Studies
DOLE Executive Building, 5th Floor
Gen. Luna Street
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-3456; Fax: 527-3448

OIC-Executive Director: Ma. Luisa Gigette S.
Imperial

¶B. EMPLOYERSQ ORGANIZATIONS

Employers Confederation of the Philippines
ECC Building, 4th Floor
355 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City
Website: http://www.ecop.org.ph/
Phone: 890-4845 / 4847 / 899-0411; Fax: 895-
8526
E-Mail: ecop@philonline.com

Director-General: Vicente Leogardo Jr.

Transunion Group of Companies
Union Ajinomoto Building, 2nd Floor
331 Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue
Makati City
Phone: 890-6344 / 896-4791 / 895-6081 loc.
253 / 257 / 259
President: Miguel B. Varela

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industries
3/F Employees Compensation Commission Bldg.

355 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Website:
http://portal.philippinechamber.com/

Phone: 896-4549 to 53; Fax: 899-1727

Director: Sammy Lim

¶C. LABOR UNIONS

Alliance of Filipino Workers
1840 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue
Cubao, Quezon City
Phone: 410-8652; Fax: 410-9737

National Director: Angelito P. Calderon

Alliance of Progressive Labor
102 Scout De Guia Street, Brgy. Sacred Heart

Quezon City

Tel: 927-6991 / 924-2295; Fax: 927-6709

E-Mail: mail@apl.org.ph
Convenor: Daniel Edralin

Bukluran Ng Manggagawang Philipino

MANILA 00002343 013 OF 016

47 Masikap St. Teachers Village, Pinyahan
Quezon City
Tel: 925-0884 / 259-8174

E-mail: bmp_national@edsamail.com.ph

Federation of Free Workers**
1943 Taft Avenue
Malate, Manila
Phone: 521-9435 / 521-9464; Fax: 400-6656
National President: Allan Montano

Kilusang Mayo Uno
Balai Obrero Foundation
63 Narra Street, Barangay Claro
1102 Quezon City
Phone: 421-0986; Fax: 421-0768
National Chairman: Elmer Labog

National Confederation of Labor
Jiao Building, Room 206
#2 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Phone: 373-1844
General Secretary: Bayani Diwa
President: Ernesto Arellano

Pambansang Diwa Ng Manggagawang Philipino
PTGWO Bldg. Corner Roberto Oca and Boston
Sts.
South Harbor, Port Area, Manila
Phone: 527-2441 / 43; Fax: 527-2445
National President: Roberto M. Oca, Jr.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
Masaya and Maharlika Streets
Diliman, Quezon City
Website: http://www.tucp-ph.org
Phone: 922-2575 to 79 / 922-3199; Fax:
924.7553
General Secretary: Ernesto F. Herrera
President: Democrito Mendoza

Trade Union of the Philippines & Allied
Service**
401 Lamaha Building, Legaspi St.
Intramuros, Manila
Phone: 527-1304; Fax: 527-1306
Secretary General: Vladimir R. Tupaz

SIPDIS

**Component of Labor Advisory Consultative
Council in the Tripartite Industrial Peace
Council

Airline Pilots Association of the
Philippines
Andrews Avenue
Pasay City
Phone: 831-5381; Fax: 854-9901
President: Capt. Elmer Peqa

All Workers Alliance Trade Unions
Room 300 (I-B) Delta Building
Quezon Avenue cor. West Avenue
Quezon City
Telefax: 411-0789
President: Temistocles S. Dejon, Jr.

Associated Marine Officers & SeamenQs Union
of the Philippines
SeamenQs Center Building
Cabildo cor Sta. Potenciana Streets
Intramuros, Manila
Website: http://www.amosup.org/
Phone: 527-8491 to 98 loc. 103; Fax: 527-
3534, 527-3538
Email: s_center@amosup.org,
capt_oca@amosup.org
President: Gregorio Oca

Bank Insurance Finance Unions
PNB Cubao Branch Compound cor. Aurora Blvd.

Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

Telefax: 912-2378
General Secretary: Jose Umali, Jr.

MANILA 00002343 014 OF 016

Confederation of Filipino Workers
LBBI Building 2/F
Remedios St. cor. Taft Avenue
Malate, Manila
Telefax: 854-8580; 825-8873 (residence)
President: Efren Aranzamendez

Confederation of Labor & Allied Social
Service
Don Santiago Building, Room 509
1344 Taft Avenue
Ermita, Manila
Phone: 302-5417; Telefax: 524-0415
National President: Monaliza Langub

Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage
System/Kaisahan at Kapatiran Ng Mga
Manggagawa at Kawani sa MWSS
MWSS Katipunan Road
Balara, Quezon City
Phone: 920-5521/5526; Local 3096/3041
Vicente Elepante, West Zone (Local
3457/3430)
Eduardo Guacela, KMKK – Ayala East Zone
Ruben Diaz, Benpres

National Association of Trade Unions
San Luis Terraces Building, Suite 404
T.M. Kalaw Street
Ermita, Manila
Telefax: 528-1251
National President: Filemon G. Tercero

National Congress of Unions in the Sugar
Industry of the Philippines
Security Bank Centre, Unit 1403-A
6776 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Phone: 892-7618 / 892-3376 / 843-7284; Fax:
892-7618 / 843-7284
National President: Zoilo V. Dela Cruz, Jr.

National Federation of Labor
Jiao Building, Room 308
#2 Timog Avenue
Quezon City
Telefax: 373-1844
President: Atty. Ernesto R. Arellano
General Secretary: Armand Alforque

National Mines and Allied Workers Union
Unit 201-A Dunville Condominium
Castilla cor Valencia Streets
New Manila, Quezon City
Phone: 726-5070/ 727-9257; Telefax: 726-5070
National President: Atty. Roberto A. Padilla
National Vice President: Benjamin P.
Basquinas

National Union of Bank Employees
PNB Cubao Branch Compound cor. Aurora Blvd.

Araneta Center Cubao

Telefax: 912-2378
General Secretary: Jose Umali, Jr.

National Union of Workers in Hotel,
Restaurant, and Allied Industries
2125 Del Mundo Building
Taft Avenue
Malate, Manila
Telefax: 536-2883 / 523-2886
President: Nestor Cabada

Philippine Transport and General Workers
Organization
Cecilleville Building, Rooms 1203-1211
Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Telefax: 374-0199
President: Victorino F. Balais

Philippine Airlines Employees Association
1763 Tomas Claudio Street
Baclaran, Paranaque City
Phone: 851-1002; Telefax: 851-1490

MANILA 00002343 015 OF 016

President: Alexander Barrientos

Philippine Long Distance Workers Union
22 Libertad Street
Mandaluyong City
Phone: 531-3715 / 531-0786; Fax: 531-3748
President: Pedro Pinlac

Port Workers Union of the Philippines
PTGWO Bldg. Corner Roberto Oca and Boston
Sts.
South Harbor, Port Area, Manila
Phone: 527-2441 / 43; Fax: 527-2445
National President: Roberto M. Oca, Jr.

Public Sector Labor Integrative Center
TUP, Ayala Boulevard
Ermita, Manila
Phone: 302-7750 local 303
President: Marilyn Ignacio

¶D. OTHERS

International Labor Organization
19th Floor, Yuchengco Tower RCBC Towers

Ayala Avenue, Makati City

Phone: 580-9900; Fax: 5809999

Sub-Regional Director: Linda Wirth

American Center for International Labor
Solidarity
Zeta II Building, Room 76
191 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Philippines
Phone: (632) 840-5383
Fax: 812-9669
Email: solcen@info.gov.ph

Country Program Director: Rudy Porter

Director for Programs: Judy Geronimo

IV. KEY SOURCES

U.S. Department of State
(http://www.state.gov)
– Country Background Notes: Philippines
(http://www.state.gov/p/eap/ci/rp/)
– Country Report on Human Rights Practices:
Philippines
(http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/7
8788.htm)
– Trafficking in Persons Report
(http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/
)

U.S. Department of Labor
(http://www.dol.gov)
– 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child
Labor
(http://www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/
main.htm)

U.S. Department of Commerce
(http://www.commerce.gov)
– Country Commercial Guides
(http://www.buyusainfo.net)

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(http://www.bsp.gov.ph)

Philippine Department of Labor and
Employment, Bureau of Labor Employment and
Statistics (http://www.bles.dole.gov.ph)

Philippine Department of Labor and
Employment, Bureau of Labor Relations
(http://www.blr.dole.gov.ph)

Philippine National Conciliation and
Mediation Board
(http://ncmbco.brinkster.net)

MANILA 00002343 016 OF 016

Philippine National Statistical Coordination
Board (http://www.nscb.gov.ph)

Philippine National Statistics Office
(http://www.census.gov.ph)

Philippine Economic Zone Authority
(http://www.peza.gov.ph)

KENNEY

   

 

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