Labor Relations Courts Proposed

Article excerpt

"With courts in every region, the workers are assured of their constitutional right to speedy disposition of their complaints, and the employers will be spared long and costly litigation," she said.

As of June of last year, the NLRC had a backlog of 7,736 cases -- 5,000 more than the preceding year.

The senator pointed out that the delay is due to a number of reasons. The first is that of the 155 incumbent labor arbiters, 53 are assigned as "reviewers" in the Office of the Commissioners. This leaves only half of the labor arbiters to hear and resolve the average 31,000 cases filed per year in the arbitration branches.

Santiago said another cause for the delay in the disposition of labor cases was the Supreme Court decision in St. Martin Funeral Home v. NLRC where the Court allowed the Court of Appeals to review the decisions of the NLRC, adding another appellate body to review the decisions of the labor arbiters.

"In effect, the gestation period of labor cases was drastically increased, raising the frustration of both the workers and employers," the senator said.

Santiago said that the slow disposition of labor disputes in the country produces a negative and crippling effect on our economy. …