M a n i l a



WHEREAS, pursuant to the development plans of the government, the promotion of social justice is a primary concern of the State under the New Society;

WHEREAS, the government has enacted labor and social legislations to protect the rights of the working class;

WHEREAS, an effective machinery for the protection of workers is an essential element in the promotion of social justice;

WHEREAS, a free legal assistance office must be organized in the Department of Labor to assist indigent workers and employers defend their rights, in pursuance of the policy of effective and speedy labor justice;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree:

Section 1. There is hereby created in the Department of Labor a Free Legal Assistance Office, hereinafter referred to as the "Office" which shall be under the direct supervision and control of the Secretary of Labor and shall be headed by an Executive Director assisted by a Deputy Executive Director. The Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director shall be members of the Philippine Bar and shall have at least two years experience in labor relations.

Section 2. The Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Labor and shall receive an annual salary of P26,000 and P24,000 respectively.

Section 3. The Office shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) Exercise technical and functional supervision over free assistance sections of regional offices;

(b) Provide technical assistance to regional offices in all matters relating to extension of free legal service to indigent workers and employees;

(c) Perform primarily policy and program development and advisory functions for the Department of Labor in the administration and enforcement of laws relating to extension of free legal assistance to indigent workers and employers;

(d) Set standards and qualifications for FLAO officers;

(e) Perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Secretary of Labor.

Section 4. The Secretary of Labor shall establish offices in the regions and such other extension offices as may be deemed appropriate. The duly appointed or designated Free Legal Assistance Officers are authorized to appeal in behalf of indigent workers and employers, as the case may be, before the National Labor Relations Commission, any Labor Arbiter or administrative bodies of the Department of Labor including the Office of the Secretary of Labor and that of the Office of the President.

Section 5. The technical staff and other personnel of the Office shall be appointed by the Secretary of Labor upon recommendation of the Executive Director.

Section 6. The Secretary of Labor shall issue rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Decree.

Section 7. All laws, decrees and letters of instructions inconsistent with or contrary to this Decree are hereby repealed.

Section 8. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 1st day of May, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Eight.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation