The Department of Labor and Employment has denied the request of Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, to make the national police clearance a requirement in the department’s transactions, saying it is a form of red tape.
In a letter to the PNP chief dated May 4, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the additional requirement is not connected with the policy of the Duterte administration to ease government processes.
“It is not also aligned with the policy of the President as embodied in Republic Act No. 11032, also known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, and Executive Order No. 129, dated 13 April 2021,” he said.
Bello said there is no legal basis in requiring a police clearance in their transactions.
“It may even violate pertinent provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, and other existing legislations,” Bello said.
Bello said results of a rapid survey about the proposal show that 94 percent of the respondents, representing workers and employers, are not in favor of getting the police clearance.
“While good-intentioned, requiring DOLE’s clientele to secure NPC to avail of our services will do more harm than good,” he said. “It is a form of red tape to all and an additional financial burden to many.”
The survey was conducted on 56 leaders composed of 38 representatives from labor and 18 representatives from employers.
But Bello expressed support to the national police clearance system, a database aimed at streamlining the issuance of police clearance across the country.
“We are with the PNP in building a safer place for the Filipino. We can achieve this without adding burden to the transacting public and the people we serve,” Bello said.
The labor groups also supported the decision of DOLE.
“We are glad that Sec. Bello made the right decision. The truth is, that’s the only decision we could accept,” Joshua Mata, secretary-general of Sentro, said.
It is also supported by the Kilusang Mayo Uno.
“It’s an appreciated stance. We’ve been saying early on that such move of the PNP requiring us workers to seek clearance from them prior to be able to transact business with DOLE is a blatant transgression of workers’ rights which encompasses the right to organize under ILO convention 87,” Elmer Labog, chairperson of KMU, said.*PNA