THE CONTRIBUTION OF THEUNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES TO LABOR EMPOWERMENT: From the Labor Education Center (LEC) to the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR) Prof. Jorge V. Sibal Director, UP SOLAIRCenter for Labor and Grassroots Initiatives [
The UP School of Labor & Industrial Relations (SOLAIR)• The UP SOLAIR is the unit in the University that is within the mainstream of the Asian and Philippine labor movement.• It houses the statue of Don Isabelo de los Reyes, founder of the first Philippine trade union federation in 1902.• Its main edifice was named after the great plebian Gat. Andres Bonifacio.
The UP School of Labor & Industrial Relations (SOLAIR)Among the common people and their organizationslike trade unions, NGOs, cooperatives and otherpeoples’ organizations, the UP SOLAIR is the spotin UP Diliman that is the closest to their hearts.
The UP School of Labor & Industrial Relations (SOLAIR)• The cement mosaic artwork of Ricardo F. Lara is a symbol of “labor-management cooperation aimed at promoting world brotherhood of men” (Dedication Program, Jan. 6, 1960) •This has become the symbol of UP SOLAIR.
The UP Labor Education Center (LEC)• In 1954, SOLAIR started as Labor Education Center (LEC) aimed at educating Filipino workers and trade union leaders on their rights and responsibilities.• It responded to the new era of collective bargaining and economic unionism under the Industrial Peace Act (RA 875 or the Magna Carta of Labor) of 1953 which answered the labor movement’s demand for less government and US intervention in trade union activities.
The UP Labor Education Center (LEC)• UP LEC started as a FOA-PHILCUSA joint project by UP School of Business Administration Dean Jose E. Velmonte as project director.• Mr. Cicero D. Calderon handled the Center’s educational activities assisted by US labor relations experts and the UP Institute of Public Administration.
The UP Labor Education Center (LEC)• UP LEC was formally set up in May 1954 as joint project of the governments of the Philippines and the United States.• It was assisted by the National Economic Council (NEC) and the International Cooperation Administration (ICA), the forerunners of the NEDA and USAID respectively.
The UP Labor Education Center (LEC)• The University of Connecticut assisted UP LEC as per the July 1, 1954 contract of the 2 educational institutions.• Its maiden program was an 8-days seminar on Democratic Unionism co- sponsored with the League of Women Voters of the Philippines.
The UP Labor Education Center (LEC)• Dr. Cicero D. Calderon was the first director of the UP LEC from 1954-1958.• The LEC was housed in a 2-storey building at 547 Herran St., Manila behind the UP College of Medicine bldg.• The LEC operated 3 regional offices in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Objectives of UP LEC• Educate workers, officers and members of trade unions in the principles and methods of free, democratic and responsible trade unionism;• Promote collective bargaining in solving labor and management problems;• Promote an atmosphere for healthy labor-management relationships.
UP LEC Programs• Labor education for unions• Labor-mgt. conferences & seminars in IR• Help unions set up their education departments• Research on issues & problems in labor- mgt. relations & the labor movement• Cooperation with gov’t. agencies (DOL, SSS & Coop. Adm. Office)
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC)• The UP LEC became Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC) in 1958.• It expanded activities to Asian trade unionists w/ a $372,000 Asian Economic Development Fund grant via the U.S. International Cooperation Administration.
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC) It constructed a $200,000 building in UP Diliman w/c was inaugurated in January 6, 1960 by Pres. Carlos P. Garcia.
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC)• Dr. Calderon was ALEC’s director until 1962 when he resigned to become president of Siliman University in Dumaguete City.• Atty. Flerida Ruth Pineda Romero was OIC from June 1962 to February 1963.
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC)• Its research and extension programs were assisted by the International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), US Agency for International Development (US AID), Asia Foundation, Colombo Plan and the International Trade Secretariats.
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC)• The various training programs of UP ALEC were attended by Asian trade union leaders from Burma, Ceylon, Indonesia, Korea, Malaya, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, etc.• Asian Labor Leadership Institute (ALLI)• Resident Labor Leadership Institute• Union Education Directors’ Institute
The Asian Labor Education Center (ALEC)• Atty. Ramon T. Jimenez was director of UP ALEC from 1963 to April 15, 1970.• Asian experts were invited to talk in special lectures.• Director Jimenez created the Labor Research Council, an interdisciplinary body to conduct studies.
From UP LEC to ALEC, A Brief Assessment• UP ALEC in the 50s to 70s collaborated with US AID to redirect the trade unions from radical communist programs like Lope K. Santos who registered Union Obrera Democratica Filipina (UODF) with the US colonial government in 1905 after Don Belong de los Reyes and Dr. Dominador Gomez were arrested & jailed.• Like Lope K. Santos, UP ALEC sought the legitimacy and continuity of the trade union movement in order to continue serving the working class.
The Crisis of UP ALEC• In 1970s, the US AID funds were given directly to trade union federations.• This resulted to “a contraction of training activities... The incoming socio-economic & political crises reduced sharply funds for workers’ education… as trade unions became competent & capable in training their members and officials.” (Gatchalian)
The Crisis of UP ALEC• Labor education at ALEC declined as labor and social movements became more radical.• Internally, ALEC suffered rapid turnover, absenteeism and low morale due to diminishing training & consultancy from trade unions.• The newly created Institute of Labor and Manpower Studies (ILMAS) as Ministry of Labor’s research and training arm rivaled & duplicated ALEC in many areas.”
The Crisis of UP ALEC• UP ALEC was recommended by the Committee to Review Academic Programs (CRAP) initiated by the new UP President for possible transfer to the labor ministry or absorption by another academic unit• To fight this threat, UP ALEC through Director Dia launched an institution building strategy for survival.
The Transition to the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR)• To be relevant to the University & to prevent dissolution or diminution, UP ALEC under Director Manuel Dia introduced in April 8, 1975 a graduate program in industrial relations approved by the Board of Regents.• It pioneered in Asia the discipline in labor studies and industrial relations (IR) to become a full-fledge member of the UP academic community, the 40th degree granting unit.
The Transition to the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR)• started with 2 regular faculty members• recruited lecturers from other UP colleges and practitioners from the management, labor and government to beef up faculty• adopted “Philippine Business Environment” course from the MBA program of the College of Business Administration as one of its core subjects
The Transition to the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR)• In 1977, Prof. Dia became the first dean of UP ALEC. Dean Dia however joined the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland in 1981.• Prof. Jose C. Gatchalian was appointed OIC until he became dean in February 25, 1982, the day when ALEC was elevated into an Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR).
The UP Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR)• The Board of Regents elevated the ALEC into a full-fledged Institute because “the present functions of the unit have broadened in scope and its clientele expanded to accommodate three important sectors in industrial relations— labor, management and government.”
Institution Building StrategyInstitution building was the hallmark of the deanship of Dr. Jose C. Gatchalian.
Institution Building Strategy The development of people, particularly of the faculty and staff, was vigorously pursued and many were sent for master and doctoral studiesfrom UP and educational institutions in Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia.
The Workers’ Institute on Labor Laws (WILL)• The Workers’ Institute on Labor Laws (WILL) program based at the College of Law was transferred to the Institute as initiated by Dean Manuel A. Dia. It was approved by UP President Edgardo J. Angara. Its interim coordinator was Atty. Manuel C. Inoc and the first regular coordinator was Prof. Teodorico P. Calica.
Objectives of the Graduate Program in IR• To educate students & staff members of unions, management, government agencies, and educational institutions for a professional career in labor relations and hrd programs in industry, government and civil society;• To undertake research on policies and policy formulation in labor and manpower programs;• To provide consultancy services and other extension activities.
UP IIR Workers Education Program (WEP)• Organized or unionized workers- focused on advanced and specialized residential 2-3 weeks trainings of unions.• Non-traditional labor organizations- Non- unionized workers, associations of peasants and farm workers, community and civil society organizations, cooperatives and non- government and peoples’ organization representatives in the government
UP IIR Under Dean GatchalianThe Institute shifted the cost of training programs by the sponsoring organizations to a 50-50 sharing of costs unlike in the US AID days.• After the EDSA 1 People Power uprising, the Institute conducted in August 1986 a “Workers’ Education Program on the Air” at the government station DZRM of the Radyo ng Bayan in Bohol Avenue, Quezon City.
UP IIR Under Dean Gatchalian• The UP IIR introduced and promoted labor management cooperation (or councils-LMCs) nationwide. This strategy was pursued with DOLE, DTI & other government offices agencies that dealt with labor organizations and non- government organizations (NGOs) such as the Businessmen-Bishops Conference (BBC).• The campaign succeeded in substantially toning down industrial conflict. As a result, UP IIR Dean Jose C. Gatchalian received the BBC Sikap-Gawa Industrial Peace Award in 1992.
UP IIR Under Dean Ofreneo • Prof. Rene E. Ofreneo became dean with the elevation of the Institute to the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR) in March 24, 1988.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Ofreneo• The School’s research & extension programs expanded with new forms of labor utilization (informal sector labor, contingent workers, etc.) and organizing (workers cooperatives, NGO- assisted initiatives, etc.). SOLAIR’s training increased to include cooperatives, social movement unionism, peasant organizations & grassroots entrepreneurism. The WEP was transformed into the Labor Education and Extension Program (LEEP).
UP SOLAIR Under Dean OfreneoDean Ofreneo initiated a college-based foundation in 1990 to augment the resource generation capabilities of the School. The Center for Labor Education, Advocacy, Research and Development, Inc. (CLEARED, Inc.) was organized by representatives of labor and employers and government with former Education Undersecretary Hemenigildo Dumlao as Chairman.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Ofreneo• SOLAIR’s Vision is to “maintain itself as the country’s premier educational institution in the field of industrial relations and human resources development and to be at par with the best among similar institutions overseas by providing quality and timely IR/HR instruction, research and extension services that promote the general empowerment of the major Philippine IR actors in the over-all context of professionalization, democratization and humanization of work and work relations”. (Jan. 1, 1991)
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Ofreneo• UP SOLAIR’s Mission: “Committed to the empowerment of labor; enlightened industrial relations, and social justice, [SOLAIR] shall for this purpose provide the highest quality of instruction, research and extension services.• The School seeks the enlightenment of workers and the strengthening of their organizations, and the democratization and humanization of industrial relations as a profession”.
UP SOLAIR’s Mandates• To provide instruction to students to professionalize the practice of IR.• To assist, through workers education the development of free & democratic trade unions, peasant organizations, cooperatives & other workers organizations.• To conduct research that will foster sound IR, the review & formulation of labor policies, & enlighten the IR actors.• To provide extension services to labor and other sectors. (SOLAIR’s Organic Act of 1991).
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Ofreneo• The School initiated labor initiatives in the University, the All-UP Workers Union and the UP Employees Housing Cooperative, which have been articulating the most urgent welfare concerns of the UP faculty and staff.• The School helped emergent workers’ cooperatives which took over the huge pineapple, rubber, palm oil, and other plantations in Mindanao.
UP SOLAIR underDean Marie Aganon (1992-95) • In response to the pahinungod program of UP President Javier, Dean Aganon launched SOLAIR’s Free Labor Leadership Institute (SOFLLI). It gave free seminars on trade unionism, cooperativism and self-managed enterprises.
UP SOLAIR under Dean Marie Aganon• The School tied up with the DOLE’s Workers Organizations and Development Program (WODP) to strengthen extension activities to labor organizations nationwide.
UP SOLAIR under Dean Marie Aganon• Several SOLAIR faculty, students and alumni attended the 10th World Congress of the IIRA in Washington DC, USA in 1995.• The School conducted 6 major research projects & implemented training to enhance the capabilities of government employees through a MOA with the Civil Service Commission
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II• For the second time, Dr. Rene Ofreneo was appointed dean in November 1995.• In line with the Vision-Mission of the School, Dean Ofreneo launched the 3- pronged program of consolidation, expansion and modernization of the School’s programs and facilities.
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II1. The increase in student enrollment by more than 50% from 250 or more to 500 a semester.2. The successful elevation of the IR graduate courses to the UP system program in UP Cebu, Mindanao and Baguio in response to the demands from regions experiencing transformation.
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II3. The expansion of the School’s research and extension programs into 3 centers- Center for Labor and Grassroots Initiatives (CLGI), Center for Industry Productivity and Competitiveness (CIPC) and Center for the Administration of Labor Justice (CaLJ).4. The rehabilitation and modernization of the School buildings and facilities.5. The various awards reaped by the School at the University and national levels.
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II• Some faculty members, students and alumni participated and presented papers in the IIRA Congresses in Taipeh, Taiwan and in Bologna, Italy.• In 1996, the School formalized a tie-up with the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP)
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II• The establishment of the National Academy of Voluntary Arbitration (NAVA) at UP SOLAIR was a joint undertaking with the National Conciliation and Meditation Board (NCMB), Tripartite Voluntary Arbitration Council and the Philippine Association of Voluntary Arbitration (PAVA).• The aim was to promote voluntary arbitration as an alternative mode of settling industrial disputes for foster industrial harmony.
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II• Many publications not funded by the University were produced from 1996-1998. Among these were: two special issues of the Philippine Journal of Labor and Industrial Relations; a student and alumni magazine Towards and Paradigm Shift: Globalization, IR/HR and UP SOLAIR in 1996; and a 1998 yearbook Strategic Choices of the 1996-1998 graduates.
UP SOLAIR Expands Under Dean Rene Ofreneo II• From 1996 to 1998 before Dean Ofreneo was appointed by Pres. Fidel Ramos as Labor Undersecretary, the School received two national awards, 3 UP Gawad Chancellor awards and 1 minor award.• Dr. Maragtas S.V. Amante (May - August, 1998) and Prof. Jorge V. Sibal (Sept.-Dec. 1998) acted as Officers-in-Charge.
UP SOLAIR Under DeanMaragtas S. V. Amante (1999-01) • Dr. Amante implemented the construction of SOLAIR infrastructure raised from various sources..
UP SOLAIR Under DeanMaragtas S. V. Amante (1999-01)• The old Perico restaurant was remodeled into classrooms while the main ALEC building housing the classrooms and library was demolished and reconstructed into 2 floors with 15 million pesos from Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and 10 million pesos from Chancellor Claro Llaguno’s administration.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Maragtas S. V. Amante• Sen. Coseteng donated 1.5 million pesos to rehabilitate the Isabelo de los Reyes Auditorium while fashion designer Bobby Novenario, a grandchild of Don Belong de los Reyes donated an oil painting of his grandfather. Representative Jules Ledesma donated 1 million pesos to rehabilitate the School’s canteen.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Maragtas S. V. Amante• Dean Amante strengthened the School’s CLEARED, Inc. foundation. Linkages with FES, Japan Foundation, ILO, IIRA and the Philippine Industrial Relations Society, Inc. (PIRS) were enhanced.• In 2000, the SOLAIR faculty attended and presented papers in the 12th World Congress of the IIRA in Tokyo, Japan under Japan Foundation. UP SOLAIR & PIRS, hosted the 4th Asian Regional Congress of IIRA in Dusit Hotel Makati in 2001.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Maragtas S. V. Amante• Exchange visits of professors and researchers from various international universities were undertaken. These were: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA; Keio University, Tokyo, Japan; University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University of Melbourne, Australia; J. W. Goethe University, Germany; and University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Juan Amor Palafox (2002-04)• Prof. Juan Amor Palafox became dean of UP SOLAIR in January 1, 2002. With an increased tuition fee and newly constructed buildings, Dean Palafox improved the facilities of the school with new furniture, a computer laboratory room, internet connection of computers, LCD projectors, new sound system for the auditorium, etc.• He maintained the physical facilities used by training clients and students.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Juan Amor Palafox• Dean Palafox pursued “relentless” training in partnership with the School’s foundation to augment resources. Researches among faculty and staff were enhanced.• The UP SOLAIR paper presenters in the 13th World Congress of IIRA in Berlin, Germany in 2003 were supported by the FES. In the Asian IIRA Congress in Seoul, Korea in 2004, it was supported by CLEARED Inc.
UP SOLAIR Under Dean Juan Amor Palafox• UP SOLAIR formalized its links with local professional associations in IR and HR like the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Philippine Society for Training and Development (PSTD), Philippine Association of Labor Management Councils (PALMCO) and Philippine Association of Labor-Management Council Professionals (Philamcop).
UP SOLAIR Today• The School has 13 regular faculty members, 11 part time professorial lecturers. Eleven faculty members have doctoral degrees, and the rest have master’s or law degrees with rich experiences in the practice of labor management relations and human resource development at the workplace, industry, and national policy levels.
UP SOLAIR Today• More than 3,000 participants annually have participated in the School’s short term 2-3 days certificate programs. Participants were mostly managers, government officials, labor leaders, and practitioners from the private, public and civil society sectors.
UP SOLAIR Library• UP SOLAIR’s new library is housed in the new 2-storey building funded by Sen. Magsaysay. It contains reserved books, reference & circulation materials (local and foreign books), special collections like the Cid collections and some archival materials.• There are 3 computers with internet connections and a microfilm reader. It has the most extensive collection of books, monographs, and journals dealing with labor, IR & HRD.
UP SOLAIR Today• With a core faculty of researchers and practitioners with facilities and its local and international network, the UP SOLAIR plays a major role in developing programs in IR which meet the challenges of globalization.• The rich and varied experiences of UP SOLAIR in IR & HRD is an advantage of the University in promoting labor empowerment, social justice and sound IR in the context of total human development.
UP SOLAIR Today• The School has regularly organized symposia, conferences and workshops on industrial relations wherein distinguished local and international scholars, trade union and business leaders, as well as government officials interact in a social dialogue over key issues affecting industrial relations.
Awards and Accomplishments of UP SOLAIR• Sikap Gawa Industrial Peace Award in 1992 to UP SOLAIR Dean Jose Gatchalian by the Bishops- Businessmen’s Conference (BBC);• Gawad Tsanselor for Prof. Maragtas S.V. Amante for “Best Faculty Researcher” and for Ms. Cecilia Laquian- Basa for “Most Outstanding University Extension Specialist” in 1995;
Awards and Accomplishments of UP SOLAIR3. Sikap-Gawa Industrial Peace Award for “Training and Research” in 1996 by the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development;4. “Most Symbolic and Relevant Booth” during the UP Diliman Week booth competition in February 1996;
Awards and Accomplishments of UP SOLAIR• Gawad Chanselor for “Pinakamakahulugang Eksibit” (Most Meaningful Exhibit) in 1996;• Gawad Chanselor as “Best in Public Service” called “Pinakamahusay na Pahinungod” by a UP Diliman unit in 1997;
Awards and Accomplishments of UP SOLAIR• Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan (Outstanding Quezonian) to Dean Rene E. Ofreneo for public service in the field of labor and industrial relations by the Quezon Provincial Government in August 19, 1998;• Gawad Chanselor for “Best in Extension Program” to the Center for Labor and Grassroots Initiatives (CLGI) and “Best Individual Published Research” to Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo in 2002;
Awards and Accomplishments of UP SOLAIR9. Gawad Chanselor for “Best in Extension Program” award in 2003• Most of the scientific papers on Philippine IR and HRD presented and published locally and abroad were research outputs of UP SOLAIR faculty, alumni and students.• UP-SOLAIR has provided labor education, research & extension work with trade unions, farmers associations, NGOs, management groups, government agencies
Summary and Assessment• The 50 years existence of UP SOLAIR illustrates the practice of institution building within an academe.• UP SOLAIR grew from a foreign fund- dependent project to a reputable school of labor and industrial relations that has made significant contributions to Philippine labor empowerment and economic development.
Summary and Assessment• Its long-term goal was through labor education and the strengthening of the trade union movement in the country and Asia, there will be labor empowerment since trade unionism and collective bargaining will assure labor, the impoverished majority in a developing economy, a fair share in the industrialization process.
Summary and Assessment• This will also guarantee democracy in an industrializing society since the trade union movement at the core of the labor movement will countervail the powerful capitalist elites and government bureaucrats who are prone to take advantage of a powerless unorganized mass of workers.
Summary and Assessment• The Philippine development strategies from 1950 to 1970s however failed. The trade union movement which UP SOLAIR helped nurture was confined to a small segment in the modern sector of society.• With a very limited base in a non- industrialized economy, the trade union movement suffered from intense rivalries among unions and federations competing for the limited trade union membership.
Summary and Assessment• With a vast army of unemployed in the informal labor, collective bargaining through trade unionism became unfavorable to the unionized workers in particular and the informal workers in general. The process became militant, legalistic or both which at least increased the workers’ benefits in the formal sector.• With the TU movement in disarray and groping for direction in the 70s, UP SOLAIR (then ALEC) was also fighting for its own survival as an institution within the University.
Summary and Assessment• It was during this critical period that UP SOLAIR seriously rationalized its being. It launched an institution building program (organizational development) that re-defined its mandates, vision and strategies.• Reaffirming its basic mandate as an institution for labor empowerment through labor education, UP SOLAIR rationalized that empowering labor cannot be done on a piecemeal basis, that of educating the trade union leaders alone.
Summary and Assessment• Labor empowerment involved not only the organized labor in the formal sector of the Philippine industrial relations (IR) system but also the other actors- management, government and most importantly, the civil society sector operating in the larger informal IR system.
Summary and Assessment• Hence, the ALEC reinvented itself with a graduate program in IR in order to expand its labor education aimed at labor empowerment, social justice and economic development to the other actors of the Philippine IR system.• Labor empowerment and social justice after all cannot be attained if the country remained un-industrialized.
Summary and Assessment• Industrialization and economic development are not tasked to the labor movement alone. It is a joint and collective aspiration and undertaking of all the IR actors that will benefit from it- labor, management, government and the civil society sectors.• Thus, the UP LEC, ALEC became the UP Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR) and now the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP SOLAIR).
Summary and Assessment• When President Carlos P. Garcia inaugurated the UP ALEC building (Bonifacio Hall) in January 6, 1960, the Dedication Program published the President’s paper “New Deal for Philippine Labor” with a portion quoted below: “The next 50 years of the 20th century will see the Filipino people waging a relentless and determined war for economic emancipation. Already, the battle lines are drawn. The outcome of this struggle will determine whether the Filipinos are fit to live in a free world of free men.
Summary and Assessment “In manifestation of our nationalistgoals, my administration is dedicated tothe creation of a balanced agro-industrialeconomy that will be capable of giving toall our people the blessings of a decent,full and active life. “I intend that labor shall play a majorrole in the realization of our aims” (Garcia,Carlos 1959).
Summary and Assessment• It is now 45 years after President Garcia wrote these thoughts.• Have we lost the relentless war for economic emancipation?• It is SOLAIR’s task to continue and help win this relentless struggle.
• Thank You and Good Day. Prof. Jorge V. Sibal