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Eliseo M. Zuñiga, Jr.

Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr. is the head of Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group and a member of the Employment Practice Group. He is also a member of the Industrial, Manufacturing & Telecommunications and the Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Groups. He has over 20 years of experience advising clients on general employment issues, employee termination, executive compensation, benefits transfers and terminations, and general litigation. He actively participates as a speaker and presenter in various regional and local seminars and conferences on labor and employment-related issues. He served as a Chairperson of the People Management Association of the Philippines’ Labor Policy Reforms and Industrial Relations Committee and is currently the Co-Chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce Human Capital Committee. He has been consistently cited as a Leading Individual for Employment by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019-2023), Band 3 for Labor and Employment by the Chambers Asia Pacific (2018-2023), Litigation Star for Labor and Employment by Benchmark Litigation (2019 to 2023) and Notable Practitioner for Labor and Employment by asialaw Leading Lawyers (2020 to 2022). Eliseo is also recognized as a thought leader in the 2021 Q3 Lexology Legal Influencers for the Future of legal services - Asia-Pacific.

The Department of Labor and Employment recently issued Department Order No. 238, Series of 2023 or the “Rules on the Administration and Enforcement of Labor Standards pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, and Republic Act No. 11058” (“DO 238-23”). DO 238-23 aims to strengthen the visitorial and enforcement power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment to ensure and maintain higher levels of compliance with respect to general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards, and other social legislations among various establishments across different industries.

Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific Employers’ Forum took place in Singapore on Thursday, 27 April 2023. You can access a number of related resources relating to employment issues and trends.

On 9 December 2020, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Matter No. 20-12-01-SC. Among others, the Videoconferencing Guidelines allow non-resident foreign nationals to participate or testify in a case before a Philippine court, through videoconferencing conducted from a Philippine embassy or consulate.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Employment Compensation Commission (ECC) recently issued two separate guidelines (collectively, the “Issuances”) in connection with COVID-19. The Issuances provide guidance to covered employers and employees regarding the promotion of COVID-19 vaccination in the private sector as well as the classification of COVID-19 as an occupational and work-related disease.

On 03 March 2021, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 224, Series of 2021, or the Guidelines on Ventilation for Workplaces and Public Transport to Prevent and Control the Spread of COVID-19 (“Guidelines”).

As part of the government’s continuing efforts and in cognizance of the poorly ventilated spaces in many workplaces, the Guidelines emphasize the immediate necessity to strictly enforce proper and adequate ventilation inside the workplace as a preventive measure against the further spread of COVID-19.

Considering the obligation of employers to ensure a safe working environment by taking on reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of their employees, and in light of the present ambiguity of our labor laws in relation to vaccination policies for employees, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Advisory No. 03, Series of 2021, or the Guidelines on the Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplaces” (“Guidelines”) on 12 March 2021.

As COVID-19 vaccines become available, the Guidelines specifically deal with the applicable rules governing any vaccination policy, which may be implemented by employers and covered establishments in the workplace.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Joint Advisory No. 20-01, Series of 2020, or the “Implementation of New Policy Directions as the Country’s Policy Shifts from Total Risk Avoidance to Risk Management and on the Further Re-opening of the Economy” (Joint Advisory).

On 11 September 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), which details the measures to be implemented by the Philippine government to stimulate and accelerate the recovery of the Philippine economy from the adverse impact brought about the by the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The Bayanihan 2 took effect on 15 September 2020.

As a protective measure against the COVID-19 virus and in line with the directive of the Philippine President to all government offices to issue guidelines on the conduct of proceedings during the time of public health emergency, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) promulgated En Banc Resolution No. 03-20 (Series of 2020), or the “Interim Amendments to the 2011 NLRC Rules of Procedure, as amended.”