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Republic of the Philippines

Aklan State University

School of Management Sciences
Banga, Aklan
Part III: Employee Rights as Ethical Principles in Business*
Esmelyn R. Araula
The Right to Adequate Work and Full Employment
What if there is an employment crisis?

The chain reaction was triggered by the currency crisis in 1997-1999 has caused
East Asian regional economy to plunge, resulting in bankruptcy of several
companies and high rate of employment.

Thais and South Koreans either donated or sold their gold jewelries to the banks
at a prices way low to its market value.

The gold jewelries collected from the citizens were melted into gold bars and
used to bail out their countries from total financial doom.

In Manila, Bataan Export Zones, Negros Oriental, Cagayan de Oro, thousands of

workers were retrenched when several companies declared bankruptcy in
January 1998 and thereafter.

Some 3,000 Filipino overseas workers employed in factories in South Korea,

about 2,000 professional workers in Malaysia and in Indonesia suddenly found
themselves jobless.

The Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) also received

notices of retrenchment from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.

In the second quarter of 1999, South Koreas justice department has given notice
to our DFA that 6,850 undocumented Filipino workers face deportation South
Korea as Seoul prepared a massive crackdown on illegal workers. People who
wanted to work werent employed simply because there were no jobs available.

Unemployment rate is a nightmare.

The manufacturing sector, housing and construction, mining, property

development and other areas of the economy slowed down, and because of this
had laid off workers.

1970 was the year of hardship in the Philippines.

* A report presented to professor Arlette U. Portaje for Management 3: Business Ethics and Social
Responsibility during the First Semester AY 2013-2014

The government decided to turn the crises on its head and seized the opportunity
to send hundreds of thousands of our surplus manpower to the Middle East,
especially Saudi Arabia.

The vast outflow opened up the overseas earnings that greatly reinforced our
balance of payments, augmented domestic buying power, sent millions of
children to school and created thousands of small business throughout the

Why is the right to work fundamental to all?

The right to work is very fundamental because it flows from our natural obligation
to self-preservation, to support our dependents, and from our calling to cooperate
in the betterment of the world.

The right to work is part and parcel of the right to life and the duty to sustain it.

Reasons why we work:

o For essential survival needs
o For psychological needs--- the need to gain and maintain selfrespect

The right to work is so fundamental that even if there is a just cause for dismissal
and after a due process, any legislative court may rule against dismissal from
work due to the fact that the right to work is a privilege very much related to the
right to life.

Work has two intrinsic characteristics, both personal and necessary.

Is the right to work a constitutional right?

Article 2, 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 an improved quality of life for all.

Article 13, Section 3. The state shall afford full protection to labor, local and
overseas, organized and unorganized and promote full employment and equality
of employment opportunity for all. It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to
self- organized, 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.
In the Philippine situation, why should labor-intensive industries be preferred?

Philippines has an inherent advantage in adopting development strategy that

promotes labor-intense industrialization. An important aspect of industrialization
is supposedly its capacity to generate more jobs and full employment.

Unfortunately, the situation is far from normal.

Article 12, Section 1. The state shall promote industrialization and full
employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform
through industries that make full and efficient use of human resources, and which
are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, that state shall
protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.

Therefore, the right to full employment and equality of employment through equal
work opportunities is not merely a statutory but elevated into a constitutional

Some terrorist consider the job as a property right. Is it correct?


Some pro-labor pragmatists are justified if they regard the job as a property right.
It must be remembered that, for the greater majority of people in most
development countries, land was the true means of production.

According to KARL MARX, The property in the soil---that original source of

wealth---has become the great problem upon the solution of which depends the
future of the working class.

Historically, there developed 3 traditional kinds of property, namely:

Real property- such as land and property

Personal property- such as money, tools, furnishing and personal


Intangible property- such as copyright and patents.

The job may neither be seen as wealth nor personal property in the legal
sense, but it is however a right in the means of production, an IUS IN REM,
which is the old definition of real property.

Today, job is the workers means of access to family support, to social security
and emotional stability, to personal development, opportunities and

Employing organizations will have to recognize that jobs possess some of the
characteristics of property rights. The evolution of the understanding of job into
some kind of property connotes a corresponding duty on the part of
management. Management cannot take away the job without due process.

When the job is seen as a property right, the management decision to hire, fire
promote or demote may only be exercised with objectives, unbiased and fair

Management may also be required to practice non-expropriation without


Article 280 of Labor Code of the Philippines states that:

When a person has no property, his job may possibly be his possession or means of
livelihood. Therefore, he should be protected against arbitrary deprivation of his job.

Furthermore, the same article added to emphasize that the employer shall not
terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized
by the Code.

The manager should always carry the responsibility to anticipate redundancies,

retain workers about to be laid off, or find new jobs for them.

In prioritization, the protection of jobs as property rights may require redundancy

in planning rather than unemployment compensation.

The Right to Adequate Work and Full Employment
1 TRUE OR FALSE. The employees cannot demand jobs.
2 TRUE OR FALSE. There are two reasons why we work; for essential needs and
psychological needs.
3-5. Enumerate the 3 kinds of properties.

The Right to Due Process versus Employment at Will

6. ______________ means employers and corporate owners may dismiss their
employees at willfor good cause, for no good cause, or even for causes morally
wrong, without being thereby guilty of any legal wrong.
7. TRUE OR FALSE. Should fundamental right to work always prevail?
8. ______________ is the procedure by which an employee can appeal a decision
or action made by a superior in order to get rational explanation of the decision and
objective review of its property.
9. ______________ means that he/she has the right to acquire, own, and
accumulate possessions, assets and properties with labor resource as one of the
10. TRUE OR FALSE. Is employment at will ethical?

The Right to Adequate Work and Full Employment

Intangible Property
Real Property
Personal Property

The Right to Due Process versus Employment at Will


Employment At Will
Due Process
Ownership Right