SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
04 December 2020 07:32:50 PM
The House Committee on Labor and Employment chaired by 1PACMAN Party-list Rep. Eric Pineda approved on Friday the draft committee report on House Bill 2476 which seeks to provide enhanced protection, security, and benefits for media workers. Bill author and ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Rowena Nina Taduran expressed her appreciation to Pineda and members of the panel for prioritizing the approval of the bill. She said under the bill, media workers, whom she described as “bearers of vital and lifesaving information,” would be assured of just wages, security of tenure, entitlement to overtime, night shift differential, hazard pay as well as insurance coverage. The body also deliberated on HB 2634 that would institute worker’s claim as statutory first lien on the assets of the bankrupt employer, amending for the purpose Article 110 of Presidential Decree (PD) 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. In his sponsorship speech, TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza said when a company declares bankruptcy or insolvency, workers lose not only their employment but also wages, benefits and other entitlements. “Workers are not always given the first preference in the settlement of the company’s liabilities,” Mendoza explained. He said the Constitution mandates the State to protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare. One such protection is to satisfy their claims against the employer’s business. “Republic Act 6715 provides in Article 110 of the Labor Code that workers’ unpaid wages and benefits and/or money claims enjoy preference over all other claims of creditors and the government,” he said. But this preference, Mendoza said, merely becomes illusory as jurisprudence has always declared that Article 110 of the Labor Code establishes not a lien but a preference of credit in favor of employees. Mendoza said under the proposed amendment, workers would be given not only credit preference but first lien in case of bankruptcy to satisfy their money claims against their employer’s business. In the Subcommittee on Labor Relations meeting that followed after the adjournment of the regular meeting of the mother committee, the panel during the meeting presided over by Pineda also approved the draft substitute bill providing protection and incentives to freelancers. The measure substituted HB 1527 filed by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda; HB 2019 by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas; HB 3219 by Deputy Speaker and CIBAC Party-list Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva and fellow CIBAC Party-list Rep. Domingo Rivera; HB 3951 by Pangasinan Rep. Christopher De Venecia; and HB 6132 by Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap.