If the National Labor Relations Commission is truly to be of service to the hundreds of thousands of workers whose cases continue to rot in its case files, then the whole roster of its commissioners should follow Señeres’s example and resign en masse to pave the way for the abolition of the NLRC.
This in essence was how the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) reacted to news of NLRC Commissioner Roy Señeres’s resignation from the labor body.
“Señeres should have quit a long time ago,” said APL Chairperson Daniel L. Edralin, adding “since his appointment as NLRC Commissioner, we have no reason to believe he was able to rid the agency of corruption nor was he able to speed up the resolution of labor disputes.”
Edralin said the NLRC was notorious for taking a long time to resolve labor cases filed before it, and reports suggest that decisions are, in a considerable number of instances, up for sale.
What Edralin proposed is for the 14 other NLRC Commissioners to resign to pave the way for the NLRC abolition and the reform of the entire labor dispute settlement system in the country.
“The labor dispute settlement system is too legalistic,” Edralin added, “making the delivery of resolutions to labor cases harder and longer, further opening the floodgates for collusion and corruption,” he added.
“We want a single entry point for all labor cases instead of the current practice where workers can sometimes lose cases because of ‘forum shopping.’ We want our labor dispute settlement system to have mediation as the backbone, to employ professional and highly-trained and competent arbiters and to eliminate expensive layers of appeals and provide a direct recourse to the Supreme Court instead,” Edralin enumerated. “These features are actually contained in House Bill 3970 which is being pushed in the House of Representatives by the APL together with Akbayan and Rep. Del De Guzman,” Edralin explained.
Edralin dared Malacañang to certify the bill as urgent along with other labor-related measures now pending in both houses of Congress.