Book One | Title One | Chapter One
RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT OF WORKERS
Art. 13. Definitions.
1. “Worker” means any member of the labor force, whether employed or unemployed.
2. “Recruitment and placement” refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not: Provided, That any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee, employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement.
3. “Private fee-charging employment agency” means any person or entity engaged in recruitment and placement of workers for a fee which is charged, directly or indirectly, from the workers or employers or both.
4. “License” means a document issued by the Department of Labor authorizing a person or entity to operate a private employment agency.
5. “Private recruitment entity” means any person or association engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers, locally or overseas, without charging, directly or indirectly, any fee from the workers or employers.
6. “Authority” means a document issued by the Department of Labor authorizing a person or association to engage in recruitment and placement activities as a private recruitment entity.
7. “Seaman” means any person employed in a vessel engaged in maritime navigation.
8. “Overseas employment” means employment of a worker outside the Philippines.
9. “Emigrant” means any person, worker or otherwise, who emigrates to a foreign country by virtue of an immigrant visa or resident permit or its equivalent in the country of destination.
Art. 14. Employment promotion. The Secretary of Labor shall have the power and authority:
1. To organize and establish new employment offices in addition to the existing employment offices under the Department of Labor as the need arises;
2. To organize and establish a nationwide job clearance and information system to inform applicants registering with a particular employment office of job opportunities in other parts of the country as well as job opportunities abroad;
3. To develop and organize a program that will facilitate occupational, industrial and geographical mobility of labor and provide assistance in the relocation of workers from one area to another; and
4. To require any person, establishment, organization or institution to submit such employment information as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.
Art. 15. Bureau of Employment Services.
1. The Bureau of Employment Services shall be primarily responsible for developing and monitoring a comprehensive employment program. It shall have the power and duty:
1. To formulate and develop plans and programs to implement the employment promotion objectives of this Title;
2. To establish and maintain a registration and/or licensing system to regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and placement of workers, locally and overseas, and to secure the best possible terms and conditions of employment for Filipino contract workers and compliance therewith under such rules and regulations as may be issued by the Minister of Labor;
3. To formulate and develop employment programs designed to benefit disadvantaged groups and communities;
4. To establish and maintain a registration and/or work permit system to regulate the employment of aliens;
5. To develop a labor market information system in aid of proper manpower and development planning;
6. To develop a responsive vocational guidance and testing system in aid of proper human resources allocation; and
7. To maintain a central registry of skills, except seamen.
2. The regional offices of the Ministry of Labor shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters or cases involving employer-employee relations including money claims, arising out of or by virtue of any law or contracts involving Filipino workers for overseas employment except seamen: Provided, That the Bureau of Employment Services may, in the case of the National Capital Region, exercise such power, whenever the Minister of Labor deems it appropriate. The decisions of the regional offices of the Bureau of Employment Services, if so authorized by the Minister of Labor as provided in this Article, shall be appealable to the National Labor Relations Commission upon the same grounds provided in Article 223 hereof. The decisions of the National Labor Relations Commission shall be final and inappealable. (Superseded by Exec. Order 797, May 1, 1982).
3. The Minister of Labor shall have the power to impose and collect fees based on rates recommended by the Bureau of Employment Services. Such fees shall be deposited in the National Treasury as a special account of the General Fund, for the promotion of the objectives of the Bureau of Employment Services, subject to the provisions of Section 40 of Presidential Decree No. 1177.
Art. 16. Private recruitment. Except as provided in Chapter II of this Title, no person or entity other than the public employment offices, shall engage in the recruitment and placement of workers.
Art. 17. Overseas Employment Development Board. An Overseas Employment Development Board is hereby created to undertake, in cooperation with relevant entities and agencies, a systematic program for overseas employment of Filipino workers in excess of domestic needs and to protect their rights to fair and equitable employment practices. It shall have the power and duty:
1. To promote the overseas employment of Filipino workers through a comprehensive market promotion and development program;
2. To secure the best possible terms and conditions of employment of Filipino contract workers on a government-to-government basis and to ensure compliance therewith;
3. To recruit and place workers for overseas employment on a government-to-government arrangement and in such other sectors as policy may dictate; and
4. To act as secretariat for the Board of Trustees of the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers.
Art. 18. Ban on direct-hiring. No employer may hire a Filipino worker for overseas employment except through the Boards and entities authorized by the Secretary of Labor. Direct-hiring by members of the diplomatic corps, international organizations and such other employers as may be allowed by the Secretary of Labor is exempted from this provision.
Art. 19. Office of Emigrant Affairs.
1. Pursuant to the national policy to maintain close ties with Filipino migrant communities and promote their welfare as well as establish a data bank in aid of national manpower policy formulation, an Office of Emigrant Affairs is hereby created in the Department of Labor. The Office shall be a unit at the Office of the Secretary and shall initially be manned and operated by such personnel and through such funding as are available within the Department and its attached agencies. Thereafter, its appropriation shall be made part of the regular General Appropriations Decree.
2. The office shall, among others, promote the well-being of emigrants and maintain their close link to the homeland by:
1. serving as a liaison with migrant communities;
2. provision of welfare and cultural services;
3. promote and facilitate re-integration of migrants into the national mainstream;
4. promote economic; political and cultural ties with the communities; and
5. generally to undertake such activities as may be appropriate to enhance such cooperative links.
Art. 20. National Seamen Board.
1. A National Seamen Board is hereby created which shall develop and maintain a comprehensive program for Filipino seamen employed overseas. It shall have the power and duty:
1. To provide free placement services for seamen;
2. To regulate and supervise the activities of agents or representatives of shipping companies in the hiring of seamen for overseas employment and secure the best possible terms of employment for contract seamen workers and secure compliance therewith;
3. To maintain a complete registry of all Filipino seamen.
2. The Board shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters or cases including money claims, involving employer-employee relations, arising out of or by virtue of any law or contracts involving Filipino seamen for overseas employment. The decisions of the Board shall be appealable to the National Labor Relations Commission upon the same grounds provided in Article 223 hereof. The decisions of the National Labor Relations Commission shall be final and inappealable.
Art. 21. Foreign service role and participation. To provide ample protection to Filipino workers abroad, the labor attaches, the labor reporting officers duly designated by the Secretary of Labor and the Philippine diplomatic or consular officials concerned shall, even without prior instruction or advice from the home office, exercise the power and duty:
1. To provide all Filipino workers within their jurisdiction assistance on all matters arising out of employment;
2. To insure that Filipino workers are not exploited or discriminated against;
3. To verify and certify as requisite to authentication that the terms and conditions of employment in contracts involving Filipino workers are in accordance with the Labor Code and rules and regulations of the Overseas Employment Development Board and National Seamen Board;
4. To make continuing studies or researches and recommendations on the various aspects of the employment market within their jurisdiction;
5. To gather and analyze information on the employment situation and its probable trends, and to make such information available; and
6. To perform such other duties as may be required of them from time to time.
Art. 22. Mandatory remittance of foreign exchange earnings. It shall be mandatory for all Filipino workers abroad to remit a portion of their foreign exchange earnings to their families, dependents, and/or beneficiaries in the country in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.
Art. 23. Composition of the Boards.
1. The OEDB shall be composed of the Secretary of Labor and Employment as Chairman, the Undersecretary of Labor as Vice-Chairman, and a representative each of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of National Defense, the Central Bank, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the National Manpower and Youth Council, the Bureau of Employment Services, a workers’ organization and an employers’ organization and the Executive Director of the OEDB as members.
2. The National Seamen Board shall be composed of the Secretary of Labor and Employment as Chairman, the Undersecretary of Labor as Vice-Chairman, the Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, and a representative each of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the Central Bank, the Maritime Industry Authority, the Bureau of Employment Services, a national shipping association and the Executive Director of the NSB as members.
The members of the Boards shall receive allowances to be determined by the Board which shall not be more than P2,000.00 per month.
3. The Boards shall be attached to the Department of Labor for policy and program coordination. They shall each be assisted by a Secretariat headed by an Executive Director who shall be a Filipino citizen with sufficient experience in manpower administration, including overseas employment activities. The Executive Director shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Labor and shall receive an annual salary as fixed by law. The Secretary of Labor shall appoint the other members of the Secretariat.
4. The Auditor General shall appoint his representative to the Boards to audit their respective accounts in accordance with auditing laws and pertinent rules and regulations.
Art. 24. Boards to issue rules and collect fees. The Boards shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to carry out their functions. They shall have the power to impose and collect fees from employers concerned, which shall be deposited in the respective accounts of said Boards and be used by them exclusively to promote their