Workers group hits proposed PNP clearance for DOLE transactions
from April 25, 2021 01:00 am to April 25, 2021 01:00 am
MANILA, Philippines — The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) yesterday criticized a proposal of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to require “national police clearances” in transacting with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), saying this is unconstitutional.
In a letter to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said the proposal is an “unwarranted infringement of the constitutional rights of workers to self-organization.”
“On its face, the request of the PNP to require those dealing with the DOLE to submit national police clearances superimposes the heavy-handed police state security apparatus on our labor relations system,” he said.
Mendoza said this will have a “chilling effect on the free and unfettered exercise of workers’ rights” and urged DOLE to categorically reject the requirement proposed by PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas.
According to Mendoza, requiring workers to present the clearance “when they seek to register their unions with DOLE, or when they are petitioning for certification elections, or when they are submitting their collective bargaining agreements or seeking peaceful mediation or conciliation is not a purely ministerial act.”
He said it is a “form of prior restraint, whose intent is clearly to intimidate and scare off workers from exercising their rights.”
“The need to present a national police clearance may become an insurmountable hurdle to register a union or indeed exercise our labor rights … It will emasculate the exercise of labor rights and will make a mockery of the labor justice system,” Mendoza maintained.
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