The four main sources of labor laws are:

Code and Statutes

In the Philippines, the primary source of labor laws is Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.

The Labor Code was enacted on May 1, 1974, Labor Day, by Ferdinand Marcos exercising legislative power. It took effect six months later on November 1, 1974. Since its enactment, the Labor Code has undergone several amendments. The most notable amendment was brought about by Republic Act No. 6715, also known as the Herrera-Veloso Law, which took effect on March 21, 1989.

The Labor Code is divided into six books, covering aspects of employment from the pre-hiring to termination, conditions of employment, security of tenure, provisions governing labor relations, such as those involving the constitutional right of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted activities, as well as provisions dealing with social welfare benefits.

The six books composing the Labor Code are as follows:

  • Book I – Pre-Employment
  • Book II – Human Resources Development
  • Book III – Conditions of Employment
  • Book IV – Health, Safety, and Social Welfare Benefits
  • Book V – Labor Relations
  • Book VI – Post-Employment

Aside from the Labor Code of the Philippines, there are many other statutes and laws that affects labor, such as:

  1. 13th Month Pay Law
  2. Retirement Pay Law (Republic Act No. 7641)
  3. Paternity Leave Act of 1996 (Republic Act No. 8187)
  4. Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (Republic Act. No. 7277)
  5. Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act. No. 7877)

Judicial decisions

Judicial decisions interpreting labor laws are also, in that sense, sources of labor laws. In accordance with Article 8, Civil Code: “Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.”

This is not to say, though, that courts can promulgate laws. Courts cannot promulgate laws, they simply interpret or construe the law.

Jurisprudence, in our system of government, cannot be considered as an independent source of law; it cannot create law. While it is true that judicial decisions which apply or interpret the Constitution or the laws are part of the legal system of the Philippines, still they are not laws. Judicial decisions, though not laws, are nonetheless evidence of what the laws mean, and it is for this reason that they are part of the legal system of the Philippines. Judicial decisions of the Supreme Court assume the same authority as the statute itself.[1]

Rules and regulations issued by administrative agencies

Rules and regulations issued by administrative agencies are also deemed sources of labor laws insofar as they supplement provisions of the law or provide means for carrying them out or give information relating thereto.

When an administrative agency promulgates rules and regulations, it “makes” a new law with the force and effect of a valid law. Rules and regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the procedure or authority conferred upon the administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of a statute. This is so because statutes are usually couched in general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives, remedies and sanctions intended by the legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the law are often times left to the administrative agency entrusted with its enforcement. In this sense, it has been said that rules and regulations are the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the effect of law.[2]

The leading agency charged with implementation and enforcement of labor laws in the Philippines is the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Other agencies are:

  1. Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA)
  2. Philippine Overseas Employment Agencies (POEA)
  3. National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)
  4. National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
  5. National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC)
  6. Employees Compensation Commission (ECC)
  7. Technical Educations and Skills Related Authority (TESDA)

International laws and conventions

International laws and conventions are also considered sources of laws in the Philippines under the doctrine of incorporation. This is pursuant to Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution which provides that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land.

One of the international agencies that is actively involved in crafting and adoption of international conventions and recommendations dealing with labor issues is the International Labor Organization (ILO).

ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.[3]


  1. Columbia Pictures, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 110318, August 28, 1996.
  2. Victoria’s Milling Co., Inc. vs. Social Security Commission, 114 Phil. 555 (1962), as cited in Freedom from Debt Coalition v. Energy Regulatory Commission, G.R. No. 161113, 15 June 2004.
  3.…. Retrieved on July 30, 2009.

Last Edited: Sunday, March 20, 2011

Caveat: Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.


  1. Sir,

    My sister is graduating and underwent practicum for a known establishment. The number of hours has been rendered in full but the company requested her to extend her stay. Now the opening in the company is for front desk personnel while she wants to be in the department where she stayed for her practicum. Her immedite supervisor during her practicum has resigned and wanted her to replace him but the company’s HR said she did not have enough experience for the job. With the hope of being hired for the job, she continues to attend trainings she is requested to attend on weekends and do other office work for the company even without any allowance or salary and it was not made clear whether they will open the position to her. Is it lawful that the company lets her continue doing paperworks and trainings with them without hiring her for the job? Every weekend she spends Php4,000.00 for board and lodging for supposed trainings in the company and my sister herself is already assisting conducting tainings for personnel in the company but she has no salary or allowance from the company. I just feel that the company is taking too much advantage of her considering she is eager to learn to land a good job. Pwede po ba yun?


    Ted Ferrolino Reply:

    IMO, your sister has become regular employee the moment they allowed her to work beyond her practicum period. That means, she is now entitled to security of tenure (she may no longer be terminated, regardless of whether or not she has an existing employment contract), and to payment of compensation and other labor benefits (wages and other labor benefits cannot be waived).


    Ronnie Reply:

    Hi Sir,

    Thanks for the reply. Now the company allows her not to report to work on weekdays but every weekend, there are trainings and she is asked to attend and assist them – siempre wala pa ring salary nor allowance man lang….


    Ronnie Reply:

    Hi Sir Ted,

    My sister was given the certificate of completion for her practicum end of March and until now, she is being required to attend weekend trainings with that same company. The company has limited HR manpower and so she is being asked to attend the trainings again. In fact, my sister is conducting trainings for that company but there is no corresponding compensation being given. When my sister aired her concern particularly on not having the guarantee of being hired as a regular employee, sumama pa po ang loob nung HR sa kanya. My sister will be graduating pa lang po next week. Ang mahirap po she will need to pay another Php6,000.00 for the hotel stay to conduct the training. Hindi po ba dapat if they are really interested to hire my sister, they will hire her na, pay for the skills rendered and let her attend the corresponding trainings to develop her skills further hindi papa-attend pa muna ng maraming trainings, make her train others then decide later on whether they’d still like to hire her or not?

    In fact, she already got sick and she was even told after her supposed last extended day to rest for 6 months. Then kinukuha pa siya ulit para gumawa ng trabaho para sa kanila every weekend. I feel there is no plans to really hire her with their comment and this is a form of economic abuse. They always say last na daw pero every weekend pa rin kinukuha siya nagrerequest para tumulong sa kanila….. Is this a form of labor abuse?


  2. Sherl Nicole Jumao-as Comment:
    September 20th, 2011 at 01:53 am


    I was nominated for an Operations Manager in Concentrix, Davao. I signed the contract, which states that the evaluation period is from November 2011-February 2011. Until now I wasn’t evaluated and I was told that it will be extended to May without even evaluating my performance.Si this a foul play based on the Labor code?


  3. Hi I’d like to ask for a legal opinion if an employee has done something to damage the reputation of a sister company, can i cite Article 282 a.) serious misconduct… as grounds for her termination? This employee is a cashier and she commented something negative regarding our sister company, which resulted in the client doubting the legitimacy of the operations of our sister company. Our company caters to financing of clients of our sister company for visa assistance, some clients already withdrew their applications, thus resulting to us losing clients also. Please shed light, thank you!


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  5. kristine joy modesto Comment:
    August 31st, 2013 at 04:26 pm

    gud day po, i just want to ask if pwede po ba ako mgresign sa work kahit nakapagsign na po ako ng contract? need your reply sir .. it will be a big help.. thank you and God bless ..


    admin Reply:

    Yes, but you need to give at least 30 days prior notice. Your employer, though, may allow shorter notice. It’s best to let them know. You may be liable for damages if you fail to give notice.


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