Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo I (2nd District, Valenzuela City), one of the authors of House Bill 1453, said the workforce should be aware and enlightened on their rights and welfare, duties and responsibilities that could help them better contribute to the development of the country.
Under the bill, employers, trade unions, labor and women’s organizations that have, for the past several decades, endeavored on their own to raise public consciousness on workers’ rights, welfare and development will be institutionalized.
Gunigundo said the bill encourages the participation of employers, trade and unions and labor organizations, with the assistance of the government, by providing free education seminars to all workers.
“It is imperative that efforts be supplemented by raising the consciousness of the workers themselves on their rights and welfare,” Gunigundo said.
Gabriela Women’s Party Reps. Emmi De Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan, co-authors of the bill, said the government should be primarily responsible especially for women and gender equality education in conformity with the Constitution’s mandate.
“A citizenry aware and enlightened on women’s rights, welfare and development and gender equality is better equipped to promote and protect women, prevent crimes against women of all ages and eliminate gender and sex discrimination and inequality,” De Jesus said.
Under the measure, employers and trade unions shall render assistance in the establishment and operation of free adult education and information programs for workers and employees jointly approved by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Education.
Adult education and information for workers and employees shall include education seminars on women’s rights, welfare, development and gender equality, including relevant laws such as RA 7877(Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995), RA 9208, (The Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003), RA 8972, (Solo Parents Act), RA 9262, (The Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law), RA 6725, (the Prohibition on Discrimination Against Women Act), and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), using participatory and non-formal education modules prescribed by the Philippine Commission on Women and Women’s Organizations, training and resource centers and institutes.
Also included are education seminars on workers’ rights, benefits and privileges under existing laws, statutes, rules and regulations, collective bargaining agreements, company policies and employment contracts, and their counterpart duties and responsibilities as good workers and employees.
The employers and trade unions may enlist the assistance of government agencies, local government units, industry chambers, labor federations or centers, non-government organizations, and entities providing free education seminars. (MNS)