'He can heal the labor sector': Laguesma confirmed as DOLE chief

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2022 02:12 PM

The 24-man Commission on Appointments confirmed the ad interim appointment of Bienvenido Laguesma as secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment during the plenary session of the bicameral body. Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB
The 24-man Commission on Appointments confirmed the ad interim appointment of Bienvenido Laguesma as secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment during the plenary session of the bicameral body. Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB

MANILA — The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday approved the confirmation of Bienvenido Laguesma as Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary.

The CA committee on labor and employment recommended his confirmation to the CA plenary following nearly an hour of grilling from the members of the bicameral panel. 

Last week, Laguesma was also interpellated by CA but failed to secure the panel's nod over unresolved issues.

During Tuesday's hearing, Laguesma was asked about several labor-related issues such as the so-called "gig economy" and the standardization of the minimum wage.

He agreed that more debates should be conducted regarding the "evolving" concept of gig economy and how to protect workers in it. 

"Ito pong gig economy ay isang developing at evolving na konsepto… Ang atin pong gig economy ay meron siyang wider universe of workers. Kami po ay sang-ayong pag-usapan at makipagkonsultahan," he told lawmakers.

(Gig economy is a developing and evolving concept. Our gig economy has a wider universe of universe. We agree that dialogues and consultations are needed.) 

Meanwhile, the Labor chief said the DOLE believes that regionalized wage is still the way to rather than nationalizing workers' pay.

"Sa pananaw po ng DOLE, sa pangkasalukuyang kalagayan ng ating ekonomiya at mga umiiiral na konsiderasyon ay better approach pa rin 'yung regional wage fixing," he said. 

(In the view of DOLE, under the current situation of our economy and other considerations, regional wage fixing is still the better approach.) 

During the CA plenary session, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Laguesma is "very qualified" for the post.

"We are very lucky that he came out of retirement to serve once again the Filipino people... He is the person we need to help heal the labor sector," Zubiri said.

Laguesma's confirmation was formalized Tuesday afternoon.

A lawyer, Laguesma was also the labor secretary under the administration of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada. 

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