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IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) HR Champions' Circle (HRCC), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Quisumbing Torres (QT) facilitated the IBPAP Labor Forum for various members of IBPAP on 18 October 2017.

Now on its second year, the forum featured QT's Kenneth Chua and Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr. as speakers and panelists, discussing current labor issues affecting the Information Technology and Business Process Management (ITBPM) sector.

QT's Maria Ana Camila JacintoLagustan also provided an overview of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill (TRAIN Bill) and defined its impact on employees.

The labor forum also provided updates on recent labor laws and regulations which was facilitated by Nicanor Bon, Chief, Policy and Program Development Division, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Kenneth Chua, partner and head of QT’s Employment Practice Group was among the panel of experts who addressed delegates' questions regarding the Anti Age Discrimination Law, the Revised Rules on Labor Laws Compliance System and the participation and deputizing of social partners in labor inspection.

"I think the concerns on the involvement of social partners in labor inspection are legitimate and this is the first time that DOLE will be having social partners in this exercise of inspection. So it would be good to see how things develop. If you have any concerns regarding the inspection, we are happy to receive comments. If there's something wrong on the inspection, then maybe IBPAP can be a channel, they'll bring it to the attention of DOLE," Kenneth explained when asked about the risks of deputizing social partners on labor inspections.

QT Partner Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr. of the Employment Practice Group shared various Supreme Court decisions that may serve as management guide in implementing policies and initiating disciplinary actions through his presentation entitled: Romance, Illicit Relations and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

"Not every labor dispute will be decided in favor of the workers. The Supreme Court may rule in favor of the employer if its is shown that it validly exercised its prerogatives in good faith. To justify restriction on employee's rights, the employer must show existence of reasonable business necessity," Eliseo shared.

Another employment related issue highlighted in the forum was the TRAIN Bill. Although it was expected to be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte by December 2017, the TRAIN Bill remains pending with the Senate. According to Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, the bill will allegedly enable 99 percent of taxpayers to enjoy higher takehome pay. QT's Tax Senior Associate, Maria Ana Camila JacintoLagustan, gave a deeper insight on the TRAIN bill, it's impact on the employees' compensation and takehome pay.

Attended by almost 150 delegates representing key representatives from the human resources department as well as talent and office management, the forum was held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City.

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