SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives approved on second reading a measure which shall educate students about labor education.
Principally authored by Rep. Enrico Pineda (Party-list, 1-PACMAN), House Bill 7927, also known as the "Labor Education Act," aims to integrate labor education into the social science subjects in the higher education curriculum.
The measure provides that labor education shall be integrated into the mandatory social science subjects being offered under the general education curriculum in the higher education courses.
It defines labor education as the "teaching of labor rights, workers’ welfare and benefits, core labor standards, labor laws and regulations, the national and global labor situation, labor market concerns, labor issues, overseas work and related problems, the nature of human labor, the role of labor in the self-realization of the human being, the foundations of the dignity of labor and other topics related to labor and employment."
The bill tasks the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), pursuant to its mandate under Republic Act No. 7722, otherwise known as the “Higher Education Act of 1994,” to develop the program to execute and implement the Act.
Pineda said it is fitting that individuals undergoing tertiary education be educated of the labor laws through a compulsory subject offered in college before they are immersed into work and be part of the labor force.
He explained that one of the more critical resources of the country that has been contributing much to the improvement of its economy is its labor force.
“It accounts for over half of the national population placing the Philippines 13th in the world among countries with the most available pool of workers,” Pineda said.
Pineda likewise pointed out that the abundance of labor in the country plus the fact of having one of the more educated and highly skilled people in this side of the world makes the Philippines one of the more attractive havens for investments.
Rep. Michael Odylon Romero (Party-list, 1-PACMAN), another author, emphasized that protection of the labor force has been an imperative for the government and no less than the Philippine Constitution provides that the state shall protect the rights of the workers and promote their welfare.
Rep. Gus Tambunting (2nd District, Parañaque City), also an author, said that not all the over 37 million Filipinos in the labor force are aware of their rights.
“To respond to this situation and mitigate the growing number of labor unrests, it is timely to include basic labor education in the college curriculum,” Tambunting stressed.
Rep. Ann Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay), former Chairperson of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education and one of the bill authors, sponsored and defended the bill on the floor. | Ma. Victoria Palomar