Everyone's Labor Code

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by Atty. Cesario A. Azucena, Jr.


This editions reflects many changes made by implementing rules recently released,. . 

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Everyone's Labor Code

Everyone's Labor Code

by Atty. Cesario A. Azucena, Jr.


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“More than the fundamentals, but...”

This work aspires to bring the labor laws to wide public awareness. Law writers and law teachers, I think, have a responsibility to tell the laws to the people, not just to lawyers and law students. Because laws exist to address public concerns, the people themselves should be adequately informed of the laws; otherwise, lawmaking is only half-done. And public information is most gravely needed of laws that affect the mass of workers, such as the labor laws. Sadly, though, most Filipino workers and many business owners and managers are uninformed of their rights and responsibilities. Public Labor Education as a cause deserves support.

This book aims to popularize labor law fundamentals in a manner suited tolay readers. Most of the Labor Code articles — the key or significant provisions are supplemented with “Notes” written succinctly and simply in nonlegalistic style. Many of the “Notes” quote or condense court rulings, and I have taken great care
that the gists captured the rulings accurately. I have not traded correctness for simplicity.

     This edition also reflects many changes made by implementing rules recently   released, mostly those under Department Orders No. 18-A. Also reflected are the Rules of the POEA and the NLRC Revised Rules of Procedure that took effect on January 7, 2006.

Considering its varied sources the book therefore goes beyond the fundamentals. To my readers, I take the liberty to address some thoughts.


... to People Managers and Business Students:

A people manager does not have to be a lawyer because people management is not all law. But I believe that no people manager, present or prospective, can be confident and competent without a working knowledge of the labor laws because
they affect the various human resource management functions.

Selection and placement of employees are affected by laws found in Books I, III, V, and VI of the Code; training and development, by some articles in Books II and V; salary and benefits administration, by Books III and V; employment and union relations, by Books III, V, and VI.

Labor laws are either prescriptions or boundaries or both. Where they are prescriptions or commands, such as the minimum labor standards, they have to be obeyed, or replaced only by permissible substitutes. Where they are boundaries, such as the law against anti-unionism, they can be transgressed only with damaging effects. Either way, knowledge of labor laws is elemental in competent and effective management of people.

The same competence is expected of union leaders. Responsible and effective unionism is remote where knowledge of and respect for labor laws are deficient or absent.

... to Law Students:

One who is seriously aspiring to become a lawyer should not be contented with this book. Although this book presents a little more than the fundamentals, it is not a substitute for the textbooks in Labor Standards and Labor Relations. This book contains explanations of labor law provisions as well as gists of court rulings, but they are severely selective and condensed. Omitted are rationales of doctrines, many court rulings, and many “advanced” issues. For one to pass the bar exam, one needs a solid foundation, a foundation that only comprehensive textbooks can build.

I say, then, quite frankly, that this book does not provide a solid grounding in labor law such as a lawyer, a people manager, or an aspiring lawyer needs.

... and Bar Reviewees:

Because law students use this book in their bar review, I have profusely enriched it as a reviewer. New topics and significant Supreme Court rulings are added to this edition.

But this reviewer is not in question-and-answer format. With due respect to other authors, I have misgivings about Q-and-A reviewers. Firstly, I believe that the question and-answer format constricts rather than expands the student’s understanding of concepts. The question is a box, the answer must fit the box. Once the question is changed the stock answer will not fit. To understand precepts and concepts, the mind, I believe, must be free to explore and free to ask questions outside the box. The way to learning, according to educator-philosopher John Dewey, is through inquiry, not through memorizing or ready-made devices.

Secondly, in a Q-and-A reviewer the particular points of law come out piece by piece, in disjointed fashion. Unless joined together they do not show the broad picture. The oft-repeated advice says that a bar reviewee must first master the codal provisions before the annotations. This advice is easier to follow if the provisions, particularly the concepts, are not scattered in “chop-chop” form, or subsumed in questions.

Finally, much time is spent in reading and understanding the questions instead of the texts of the statutes and decisions. This, I think, is unwise use of precious time.

For these three reasons I do prefer the “open” instead of the “boxed” type of reviewer. But, I do acknowledge that there exist two or three Q-and-A reviewers that are so masterly crafted they crystallize their subjects.

If this book, despite its shortcomings, would contribute a bit to the labor education of the people or to the success of students and managers, then all the efforts it demanded would have been well spent. In the process I certainly tried to write simply and clearly — learning from the style of great essayists (Adler, Bernas, Heilbroner, Russell, etc.) — because I was mindful of the counsel of Justice Learned Hand: “The language of the law must not be foreign to the ears of those who are to obey it.”

Reflected in this edition are the fresh changes made by R.A. No. 10151 about night workers and by R.A. No. 10022 about migrant workers.

The just-released DOLE department order about labor contracting is here reproduced and explained.

As required by R.A. No. 10151, the articles, beginning with Article 130, have been renumbered with extreme care.

The rest of the changes are mostly sentence and diction improvements. The book is careful about what it says and how it is said. But, perhaps, typographical imperfection persists.

Bits of Advice to Bar Candidates

1. The book you are reading now is a condensation of The Labor Code  with Comments and Cases in two volumes. They are the textbooks, source of stock knowledge. This one is the reviewer that does not build solid grounding about labor concepts. Therefore, in your bar review you have to reread portions of your textbooks as needed.

2. Read and reread the codal provisions before going to the annotations.

3. In the codal articles, pay special attention to important words and phrases. Highlight them. Remember them. They are likely subjects of “familiarity” and “proficiency” MC questionsin the Bar. Together they made up 60% of the MCQs in the 2011 exam. The remaining 40% of the MCQs was the “analysis and solution” type which tests your ability to analyze the factsto identify legal issuesfor application of legal precepts and court rulings.

4. In the 2011 bar exam, all the three groups of MCQs weighed 60%; the essay component weighed 40%. You have to write in correct English in easily readable handwriting. Your English and your handwriting can make you pass or fail.

5. MCQs require exact answers. No ifs and buts, hence objective. Each question presents four choices — one correct answer, three distractors. If you really know the law you can easily pick the right choice; if you don’t, your answer will be about 75% guess.

6. The compiled MCQsin libraries are neithertextbooks norreviewers. They do not explain concepts nor do they state the laws. They are not substitutes for textbooks and reviewers because they are no more than unrelated sample questions.

7. Attend the barreview lectures. Take down notes. Don’tsleep there! Today, you are creating your future.

If you're a school administrator, teacher, or a librarian purchasing for your school, please contact the Educational Materials Advisor assigned to your school or fill up our inquiry form. 


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