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Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) v. Drilon (as Sec.

of Labor and Employment)
June 30, 1988
SARMIENTO, J.
CASE PASEI v. Drilon
temporary suspension of deployment of Filipino domestic and household workers
State action
(Department Order No. 1, Series of 1988)
State interest 1. To enhance the protection for Filipino female overseas workers
Right invoked 1. Equal protection of laws
by Injured Party 2. Right to travel
Filipina overseas contract workers were prohibited from being deployed to their
How affected
employer’s countries
1. Equal protection
TEST
2. Exceptions in Sec. 6 of Art. III1
1. There is a valid classification
a. There is a substantial distinction because women domestic
workers are being ill-treated abroad in massive instances
however, the same thing cannot be said as far as men are
concerned.
b. It is germane to the purpose behind the measure because a ban
Application would be good for their welfare.
c. The Order does not narrowly apply to existing conditions. Rather,
it is intended to apply indefinitely so long as those conditions
exist.
d. It is applicable to all female domestic overseas workers.
2. The deployment ban is to promote public safety, namely, to give
protection to our labor force.
1. Equal protection is invoked
Why that test
2. The exceptions were in the Constitution itself
Result VALID

FACTS:
PASEI, a firm "engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female, for overseas
placement," challenges the Constitutional validity of Department Order No. 1, Series of 1988, of the
Department of Labor and Employment, in the character of "GUIDELINES GOVERNING THE TEMPORARY
SUSPENSION OF DEPLOYMENT OF FILIPINO DOMESTIC AND HOUSEHOLD WORKERS," in this petition for
certiorari and prohibition.
PASEI:
1. Specifically, the measure is assailed for "discrimination against males or females;" that it "does
not apply to all Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills;"
2. that it is violative of the right to travel
3. an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power, police power being legislative, and not executive, in
character

1
Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public
health, as may be provided by law.

Canada. Qatar. however. Series of 1988 is violative of the equal protection of laws II. and Switzerland. . ISSUE: I. As a stopgap measure. Rather. The Court finds."). This is clear from the Order itself ("Pending review of the administrative and legal measures. a. State and Government. Hongkong. RATIO: I. b. it is intended to apply indefinitely so long as those conditions exist. In submitting the validity of the challenged "guidelines. there is no evidence that. Italy. Deputy Minister and the other senior government officials . Jordan. Norway. except perhaps for isolated instances. by Minister. even rape and various forms of torture. in the Philippines and in the host countries . II. 1 to "enhance the protection for Filipino female overseas workers. finally. 1 was passed in the absence of prior consultations in violation of Section 3. 2. our men abroad have been afflicted with an identical predicament. WON Department Order No. WON it impairs the right to travel III. a. of the Constitution. confirmed by testimonies of returning workers. but rather admits exceptions i. The classification is germane to the purpose of the law. a ban on deployment will be for their own good and welfare. the respondent Labor Secretary lifted the deployment ban in the states of Iraq. Department Order No. the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our female labor force abroad. 4. cannot be said of our male workers. physical and personal abuse. especially domestic servants. It is the avowed objective of Department Order No. the impugned guidelines to be applicable to all female domestic overseas workers. are compelling motives for urgent Government action." the Solicitor General invokes the police power of the Philippine State. c. Austria. As a matter of judicial notice. The Order does not narrowly apply to existing conditions. The deployment ban does not impair the right to travel. The same. by immediate members of the family of Heads of 2. 1. . it is possessed of a necessary malleability. meaning to say that should the authorities arrive at a means impressed with a greater degree of permanency. The questioned order does not prescribe a total ban. the ban shall be lifted. Hirings by 1. providing for worker participation "in policy and decision- making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law." OSG: 1. amid exploitative working conditions marked by. In the first place. United States. The preference for female workers rests on substantial distinctions." This Court has no quarrel that in the midst of the terrible mistreatment Filipina workers have suffered abroad. depending on the circumstances of each case. The department order is not violative of the equal protection of laws. d. in not a few cases. of Article XIII. The sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant Filipina workers. 3.

The Government has convinced the Court in this case that this is its intent. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipino workers b. just. 3. it is profits that suffer as a result of Government regulation. ii. No costs. it has precisely ordered an indefinite ban on deployment. while away from home. local and overseas. The concern of the Government. 5. decent. “Sec. its basic policy to "afford protection to labor. personally and economically." "as may be provided by law. of the lack or inadequacy of such protection. however. SO ORDERED. is not necessarily to maintain profits of business firms. 2. The right granted by Art. The interest of the State is to provide a decent living to its citizens. 1 is a valid implementation of the Labor Code. the Government is duty-bound to insure that our toiling expatriates have adequate protection. It is bad enough that the country has to send its sons and daughters to strange lands because it cannot satisfy their employment needs at home. What concerns the Constitution more paramountly is that such an employment be above all. and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all” "Protection to labor" does not signify the promotion of employment alone. an evidence the petitioner cannot seriously dispute. by senior officials of the diplomatic corps and duly accredited international organizations. to the requirements of "public safety. by employers in countries with whom the Philippines have [sic] bilateral labor agreements or understanding. a. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines. In the ordinary sequence of events. organized and unorganized. the Government has evidence. 3 must submit to the demands and necessities of police power (worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits"). XIII." pursuant to the respondent Department of Labor's rule-making authority vested in it by the Labor Code. WHEREFORE. In this case. . Sec. The Secretary of Labor and Employment may lift the suspension on countries where there are 1. the petition is DISMISSED." Department Order No. among other things. and humane. III. and/or. The right to travel is not absolute being subject. This Court understands the grave implications the questioned Order has on the business of recruitment. Those vacationing domestic helpers returning to their employers to finish an existing or partially served employment contract iii. in particular. Under these circumstances. The State shall afford full protection to labor. 4. and as part of its duty. We do not find the impugned Order to be tainted with a grave abuse of discretion to warrant the extraordinary relief prayed for.