Last 31 July 2018, Committee Chair Senator Joel B. Villanueva filed Senate Resolution 810 which aims to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the status of regularization of employees with a view to addressing the gaps in the law on enforcement and compliance that facilitates discord and violence similar to the situations of workers in companies such as Nutri-Asia and PLDT.
As a representative of all employers, ECOP commented on two (2) main issues which include the visitorial and enforcement power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment and the issue of due process.
ECOP stated that the power of DOLE only comes into play when the employer-employee relationship still exists. Although DOLE must somehow determine the existence of the said relationship, it cannot be equivalent with the visitorial and enforcement power itself. Such determination is merely preliminary and incidental to DOLE’s primary function of enforcing labor standards, as this function is still primarily lodged with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
Furthermore, ECOP emphasized that no should be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law as guaranteed by the Constitution. This means that a compliance order or any issuance issued by the DOLE Secretary or Regional Director must comply with the due process requirements during administrative proceedings. In the absence of the due process requirements, or if the Secretary or the Regional Director exceeds his authority, compliance orders or issuances should be void and should not produce any legal effect.
To this end, ECOP asserted that owning a business entails property right. The right to enter into business is a right guaranteed under the Constitution. ECOP also said that the conduct of all forms of business involves the exercise of management prerogative which jurisprudence has always reiterated to have noninterference as long as it is done in good faith.