NLRC Work Expected to Hasten When Sto. Tomas Takes Over
Byline: E.T. SUAREZ
Commissioners, labor arbiters, and other officials and personnel of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) will be kept on their toes settling or resolving labor disputes when Labor Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas formally takes over the administrative supervision of the commission from its former chairman Roy V. Seneres.
Under the implementing guidelines for Executive Order (EO) 185, as amended by EO 204, which Sto. Tomas drafted and submitted to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for approval, the labor chief is empowered to create spot performance audit teams (SPAT) to monitor and evaluate NLRCs case dispositions and compliance with the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Rep. Act 3019) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Rep. Act 6713).
Spot performance audits, as authorized by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, shall be undertaken at any given time, the guidelines provide. A copy of the exit reports shall be furnished by the SPAT to the commissioner/division/labor arbiter concerned.
It will be recalled that President Arroyo issued EOs 185 and 204 in response to the complaint of organized labor that its takes so long for the NLRC to resolve or dispose of labor disputes. The EOs direct the labor secretary to oversee the operations of the NLRC and its regional and sub-regional branches or provincial extension units for the purpose of insuring that cases pending before them are decided or resolved expeditiously.
To put more teeth to the labor secretarys administrative supervision over the NLRC, she is authorized, under theEO 204s implementing guidelines, to investigate, on its own or upon a complaint, matters involving violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and disciplinary action against any of the NLRCs employes, including presidential appointees in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations.
But whether or not Sto. Tomas will take over the administrative supervision of the NLRC while Seneres remains its chairman is a big question mark. …