National Labor Relations Commission (Philippines)

National Labor Relations Commission
Pambansang Komisyon sa Ugnayang Paggawa
Agency overview
Formed June 6, 1899
  • (etc.)

PPSTA Building, Banawe corner P. Florentino Streets,

1100 Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Annual budget P392.16 million (2008)
Agency executive
  • Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio Jr., Chairman
Parent agency Department of Labor and Employment

The National Labor Relations Commission (Filipino: Pambansang Komisyon sa Ugnayang Paggawa, abbreviated NLRC) is a commission organized by the Philippine government to resolve, investigate and settle disputes between employees and employers. The NLRC is a subsequent part of the Department of Labor and Employment where its policies and programs[1] are coordinated. The commission dates back to the commonwealth period, when the contract labor law act was passed in the United States Congress on January 23, 1885, it was then implemented in the Philippines on June 6, 1899.


The Philippines was abiding by the contract labor law act until the national assembly through Commonwealth Act No. 103 created the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) on October 29, 1936. In the onset of CIR’s existence[2] it was first placed under the supervision of the Department of Justice. The court consisted of a presiding judge and four associate judges which were then appointed by the President of the Philippines, which should have consent from the commission on appointments.

During the martial law, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos issued presidential decree (P.D.) 21[3] creating an interim National Labor Relations Commission. It comprised three members the undersecretary of labor as Chairman, the Director of labor relations and the Director of labor standards. The Interim Commission took point in all matters involving employer-employee relations including all disputes and grievances. The interim NLRC existed for two years, until the passage of P.D. 442. The CIR was abolished on November 1, 1974 because of its conflicts with the provisions of the newly formed interim NLRC. The NLRC under P.D. 442 was given the same scope of services to the interim NLRC but had its members increased as the volume of labor cases also increased.

After the EDSA revolution the NLRC was regionalized[4] after the 1986 constitutional convention. The first and second division's main offices are located in Manila. These divisions handle cases from the National Capital Region (NCR). The third division, whose offices are also located in Manila, handles cases from Luzon except the NCR. The fourth division, which is located in Cebu City, handles cases from the Visayas, while the fifth division, located in Cagayan de Oro City, handles cases from Mindanao.

Rules of procedure

The Labor Code of the Philippines which is part of article 218[5] of the revised penal code has issued the NLRC the following set rules for handling its cases:

Case backlogs

On June 30, 2005 the NLRC confirmed of a backlog of 4,922[6] cases in NCR and a backlog of 8,808 cases in the regional arbitration branches. NLRC Chairman Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio Jr. announced a three-year master plan which was approved by the NLRC en banc committee. They aim to clear all the backlogs by 2008, this would entail each of the 15 NLRC commissioners to resolve 57.2 cases per month while each of the 105 labor arbiters must dispose of 25.3 cases per month. In 2006, the NLRC’s third division had confirmed resolving 2,697[7] labor disputes, which gave the division the highest disposition rating of 60 percent among the three divisions in Luzon. As of March 2011, the NLRC has yet to show effort that they indeed have plans to clear all backlogs. Pending cases appealed on 2007 still has yet to be touched. In February 28, 2011 Arbiter Jose G. de Vera who declined to issue a Writ of Partial Execution as motioned by the complainants on the grounds of accrued salaries on Reinstatement aspect of the appealed case, issued an order inhibiting himself from the case. He has been pressured by the respondents to delay and hold issuance of such writ for their personal gains. The case was re-raffled to Arbiter Macam and immediately, an Alias Writ of Execution was issued.


  1. "About NLRC". NLRC Website. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  2. "NLRC Court of Industrial Relations". NLRC Website. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  3. "Interim NLRC". Interim NLRC History. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  4. "Modern version NLRC". NLRC Website. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  6. "NLRC 3-Year Masterplan to get rid of case backlog". NLRC Website. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  7. "NLRC division resolves 2,697 labor cases or". NLRC Website. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
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