Nograles sees better working environment for Pinoy workers

February 12, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 524 views

RIZAL 4th District Rep. Fidel Nograles on Sunday said that Filipino workers can soon enjoy a better working environment with the recent passage by the House of Representatives on third and final reading of various bills promoting their welfare.

“Nagagalak tayo na naipasa na ang mga panukalang batas na dininig ng ating komite na layuning isulong ang kapakanan ng manggagawang Pilipino,” Nograles, a stalwart of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) who chairs the House conmittee on labor and employment.

House Bill (HB) No. 1270 or the Eddie Garcia Act, provides better protection for workers of the movie and television industry by requiring employers to provide workers or contractors a copy of a contract that explicitly states the number of work hours, job position and description, period of employment, details of compensation and other conditions that will affect the person’s work.

The bill also states that the employer would be required to adhere to all laws related to workers’ occupational safety and health standards and provide all workers with government-mandated benefits.

The measure provides that workers are entitled to overtime pay if they render their services beyond eight hours, with a maximum extension of only up to 12 hours. Workers are also prohibited from rendering more than 60 hours a week, and their travel time to-and-from work is considered as part of their working hours.

Meanwhile, House Bill No. 6718 or the Freelance Workers Protection Act is seen to benefit the country’s at least 1.5 million freelance workers.

HB No. 6718 defines a freelance worker as any natural person or entity composed of no more than one natural person, whether incorporated under the Securities and Exchange Commission, registered as a sole proprietorship under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or registered as self-employed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The measure requires the hiring party and freelance workers to enter into a written contract that clearly specifies the workers’ task, period of completion, compensation, and schedule of payment.

It prohibits any deviations or modifications of the terms in the contract, such as reduction in the fees or an expanded scope of work, unless agreed upon and signed in a revised contract by both parties.

The bill also prohibits the engagement of a freelance worker without a contract, or delay in payment beyond 15 days from the date stipulated in the contract. Aggrieved parties of such violations can file their complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment through the Undersecretary for Workers with Special Concerns, and may file a civil case. Violators who are found guilty could be penalized with a fine ranging from P50,000 to P500,000.

HB No. 6683 or the Enterprise Productivity Act, which effectively repeals Republic Act No. 6971 or the Productivity Incentives Act of 1990, requires the establishment of a a productivity incentive program for employees of enterprises who have 10 or more workers.

It also establishes a system of tax incentives for enterprises, small or large, that will successfully establish and implement a productivity incentives program for their employees.

“Umaasa tayo na sa lalong madaling panahon ay maipasa na rin ang mga counterpart measure ng tatlong panukalang ito sa Senado, at mapirmahan ni Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., para agaran nating ma-implementa ang mga kinakailangang pagbabago na dala ng mga ito,” Nograles said.

“Asahan po ninyo na patuloy na kikilos ang House Committee on Labor para sa mga batas na makakatulong at poprotekta sa manggagawang Pinoy,” the lawmaker added.