The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure sponsored by Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles allowing foreigners to take part in trade union activities in the Philippines.
Under House Bill 5886, all “aliens, natural or juridical, as well as foreign organizations with valid permits issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), may engage directly or indirectly in all forms of trade union activities, but only through normal contacts between Philippine labor unions and recognized international labor centers.”
"The measure shall promote the solidarity of workers and their organizations, whether inside or outside the country, or both," said Nograles, who chairs the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
Nograles is also the vice president for internal affairs of the National Unity Party (NUP).
Under HB 5886, foreign workers in the country with valid permits issued by the DOLE may exercise the right to self-organization and join or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for purposes of collective bargaining.
The measure also provides that foreign individuals, organizations or entities may give donations, grants or other forms of assistance, in cash or in kind, directly or indirectly, to any labor organization, group of workers or any auxiliary, such as cooperatives, credit unions and institutions engaged in research, education or communication, in relation to trade union activities.
Partylist Representative Democrito Mendoza of the TUCP, the bill’s principal author, said the measure would demonstrate that the country remains true to the internationally held principle of equal treatment for migrant workers and national workers when it comes to trade union membership and collective bargaining activities.