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PRE-WEEK NOTES

ON THE 2013 BAR EXAMINATION IN LABOR LAW


By: Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan
(These Notes, consisting of 8 parts, are supplementary to the authors book entitled 2012 Bar Reviewer on Labor Law)
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PART ONE
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES
I. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS.
Out of the several topics under Fundamental Principles and Policies, the following provisions should be given
primordial importance:
ARTICLE II
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES
STATE POLICIES
Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity
and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide
adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved
quality of life for all.
Section 10. The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.
Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights
of workers and promote their welfare.
ARTICLE III
BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor
shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (NOT APPLICABLE TO LABOR CASES).
Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press,
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances. (APPLICABLE TO PICKETING).
Section 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized.
Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be
afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.(VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS
IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
Section 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to
form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
Section 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.(VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS
IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
Section 16. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial,
quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. (VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN
THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
Section 18. (2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. (VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY
ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
ARTICLE XIII
LABOR
(VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS THE SO-CALLED PROTECTION-TO-LABOR CLAUSE IN THE CONSTITUTION)
Section 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.
It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and
negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with
law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage.
They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and
benefits as may be provided by law.
The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers
and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall
enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace.
The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of
labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns
to investments, and to expansion and growth.
HEALTH
Section 13. The State shall establish a special agency for disabled person for their rehabilitation,
self-development, and self-reliance, and their integration into the mainstream of society. (VERY
IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
Please take note of the following enabling laws of this constitutional provision:
Republic Act No. 7277 [March 24, 1992], otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled
Persons, providing for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of disabled persons and
their integration into the mainstream of society and for other purposes. Subsequently, Section 4 of
Republic Act No. 9442 [effective April 30, 2007] changed the title of Republic Act No. 7277 to read as
the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, and all references in the said law to disabled persons
were likewise amended to read as persons with disability.
WOMEN
Section 14. The State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working
conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities
that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the
nation.
Please take note of the following enabling laws of this constitutional provision:
o R.A. No. 9710 - Magna Carta of Women (August 14, 2009)
o CEDAW LAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
II. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS NOT APPLICABLE TO LABOR CASES.
The following constitutional rights and precepts cannot be invoked in labor cases, particularly in administrative
investigations leading to the termination of employment, because they can only be asserted against the state/government
and not against a private party the employer:

a. Constitutional Due Process since what applies is Statutory Due Process under Article 277(b) of the Labor
Code.1[1]
b. Right to Equal Protection of the Laws.1[2]
c. Right to Counsel.1[3]
d. Right Against Self-Incrimination.1[4]
e. Right Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures.1[5]
III. CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS.
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties,
act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.(VERY IMPORTANT AS
THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
Article 1700. The relations between capital and labor are NOT merely contractual. They are
so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the common good.
Therefore, such contracts are subject to the special laws on labor unions, collective
bargaining, strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, working conditions, hours of labor and
similar subjects.
Article 1702. In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in
favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer. (VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY ADDED
IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS; CORRELATE THIS WITH ARTICLE 4 OF THE LABOR CODE [SEE
BELOW]).
IV. LABOR CODE PROVISIONS.
Article 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. The State shall assure the rights of
workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane
conditions of work.
Article 4. Construction in favor of labor. - All doubts in the implementation and interpretation
of the provisions of this Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be
resolved in favor of labor. (VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM
SYLLABUS).
Article 166. Policy. - The State shall promote and develop a tax-exempt employees compensation
program whereby employees and their dependents, in the event of work-connected disability or death,






may promptly secure adequate income benefit and medical related benefits. (VERY IMPORTANT AS
THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013 BAR EXAM SYLLABUS).
In connection with this provision, please take note of the following:
a. The Employees Compensation Program (ECP).
The Employees Compensation Program (ECP) mentioned in Article 166 of the Labor Code is designed to provide public and
private sector employees and their dependents with income and other benefits in the event of a work-connected injury, sickness,
disability or death. It assures workers of total protection through the provision of a comprehensive benefit package encompassing
preventive occupational safety and health aspects, curative or medical and compensatory grant, and rehabilitation of occupationally
disabled workers.
b. Attributes of the ECP.
The Employees Compensation Program (ECP) is characterized as follows:
1. It is not subject to tax;
2. It is designed to ensure promptitude in cases of work-connected disability or death, in the award to employees and their
dependents of adequate income benefits and medical or related benefits;
3. It is funded by monthly contributions of all covered employers;
4. It is compulsory on all employers and their employees whose age is not over sixty (60) years old;
5. It provides for benefits which are exclusive and in place of all other liabilities of the employer to the employee, his
dependents or anyone otherwise entitled to receive damages on behalf of the employee or his dependents; and
6. It has its own adjudicatory machinery with original and exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute with respect to
coverage, entitlement to benefits, collection and payment of contributions and penalties thereon, or any other matter
related thereto, independent of other tribunals, except the Supreme Court (and the Court of Appeals per Revised
Administrative Circular No. 1-95).1[6]
c. Advantages and disadvantages.
The following advantages may be cited:
1. The coverage has been expanded to include employers with at least one employee and irrespective of the type or nature
of business or amount of business capitalization.
2. The processing of claims has been simplified with the integration of compensation benefits with those of the GSIS or
SSS, as the case may be.
3. The rates of income benefits and medical, rehabilitation and other services have been significantly increased.
4. The procedure for settlement of claims has been simplified. Tedious and cumbersome proceedings have been eliminated.
5. Attorneys fees and costs of legal services have been eliminated. (Article 209 [203], Labor Code).
d. Compensable contingencies under the ECP.
The following contingencies are compensable under the ECP:
1. Work-connected injury or accident;
2. Work-connected sickness; and
3. Any disability or death resulting from any work-connected injury or accident or work-connected sickness.
Article 255. Exclusive bargaining representation and workers participation in policy and
decision-making. The labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the
employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit shall be the exclusive representative
of the employees in such unit for the purpose of collective bargaining. However, an
individual employee or group of employees shall have the right at any time to present
grievances to their employer.
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, workers shall have the right, subject
to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may promulgate, to
participate in policy and decision-making processes of the establishment where they are
employed insofar as said processes will directly affect their rights, benefits and welfare. For
this purpose, workers and employers may form labor-management councils: Provided, That


the representatives of the workers in such labor-management councils shall be elected by at
least the majority of all employees in said establishment.
Article 277.Miscellaneous Provisions. (VERY IMPORTANT AS THIS IS NEWLY ADDED IN THE 2013
BAR EXAM SYLLABUS; THIS IS THE STATUTORY PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS WHICH SHOULD APPLY
IN CASE OF DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES).
(b) Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure and their right to be
protected against dismissal except for a just and authorized cause and without prejudice to
the requirement of notice under Article 283 of this Code, the employer shall furnish the
worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a
statement of the causesfortermination andshall afford thelatter ample opportunity to be
heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his representative, if he so desires, in
accordance with company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set by
the Department of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by the employer shall be
without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the validity or legality of his dismissal
by filing a complaint with the regional branch of the National Labor Relations
Commission. The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized
cause shall rest on the employer. The Secretary of the Department of Labor and
Employment may suspend the effects of the termination pending resolution of the dispute
in the event of a prima facie finding by the appropriate official of the Department of Labor
and Employment before whom such dispute is pending that the termination may cause a
serious labor dispute or is in implementation of a mass lay-off.
(c) Any employee, whether employed for a definite period or not, shall, beginning on his first
day of service, be considered as an employee for purposes of membership in any labor
union.(THIS ENUNCIATES THE RULE THAT THE RIGHT TO JOIN A UNION STARTS FROM DAY
ONE OF EMPLOYMENT).
(NOTE: The other provisions of Article 277 are omitted for they are unlikely to be given in the bar exams).
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Footnotes:
1] Agabon v. NLRC, G.R. No. 158693, November 17, 2!.

"2] #$n%an Asso%&at&on o' #eta&(man)*+G,- v. G(a.o ,e(%ome */&(&00&nes, 1n%., G.R. No. 16299!,
2e0tember 17, 2!34ras$eg$& v. */&(&00&ne A&r(&nes, 1n%., G.R. No. 16881, -%tober 17, 28.

"3] 5an$e( v. N. C. Constr$%t&on 2$00(6, "G.R. No. 127553, November 28, 1997, 282 2CRA 326.

"!] *as%$a(, 7r. v. 8oar9 o' 5e9&%a( :.am&ners, G.R. No. L)2518, 5a6 26, 19693 Caba( v. ;a0$nan, 7r.,
G.R. No. L)1952, #e%ember 29, 1962.

"5] ,atero$s #r$g Cor0orat&on v. NLRC, G.R. No. 113271, -%tober 16, 1997, 28 2CRA 735.

"6] 2an 5&g$e( Cor0orat&on v. NLRC, G.R. No. 57!73, A$g. 15, 1988.