New Rules Empower Government Workers to Organize

In a groundbreaking move that promises to reshape the landscape of public employment in the Philippines, key government agencies including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Finance (DOF), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM), have officially endorsed the 2024 Rules and Regulations of Executive Order (EO) 180.

This legislation marks a significant advancement from the original EO signed in 1987, which first granted government employees the right to organize. The updated rules are designed to refine and enhance the process by which government employees can form and join organizations, aiming to foster a more empowered, collaborative, and democratic workforce, as shared in a report by GMA News Online

Credits: PNA

Significance of the EO

Executive Order (EO) 180, signed in 1987, was a landmark decision in the Philippines that guaranteed government employees the right to organize unions and collectively bargain. Prior to EO 180, public sector workers lacked formal channels to voice concerns and negotiate for better working conditions. This Executive Order, established by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), aimed to bridge this gap. Since then, statistics from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) show a significant increase in the number of registered government employee unions, fostering a more empowered and collaborative public sector workforce. EO 180’s significance is further amplified by the limitations it placed, excluding the Armed Forces and police from its coverage. This highlights the delicate balance the Order sought to achieve –  empowering workers while maintaining national security.

Enhancements Introduced in the New IRR

The newly signed IRR introduces a series of enhancements aimed at bettering the framework for government employees to organize. These include:

  • Clearer Personnel Eligibility: Establishing precise qualifications and criteria for government personnel to join employee organizations.
  • Digital Advancements: Adoption of electronic filing for documents and the use of online platforms to facilitate smoother operations.
  • Council Policy Integrations and Employee Elections: Incorporation of new council policies and structured protocols for employee elections, ensuring transparency and fairness.

Recognition of National Employee Organizations

A breakthrough feature of the IRR is the formal recognition of national employee organizations. These bodies represent a coalition of registered employee organizations within an agency and play a major role in collective negotiation agreements. This recognition empowers these organizations to more effectively represent their members, pushing for better working conditions and other employment benefits.

Commitment to Continual Improvement

The CSC chairperson, Karlo Nograles, highlighted the council’s commitment to the ongoing enhancement of public sector employee relations. Despite acknowledging that the new rules might not be perfect, given the dynamic nature of the public sector, there remains a steadfast resolve to refine and evolve these regulations in response to changing needs and challenges.

A Promise to Protect

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla emphasized that the establishment of these rules signifies a promise to safeguard the rights and well-being of government workers. It is seen as a commitment to foster a more responsive and resilient government workforce, where the rights to organize and negotiate are fundamental.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla
Image: PNA

The Impact of the New IRR

The revisions to the IRR are not just procedural but symbolize a deeper recognition of the essential role that government employees play in the fabric of national governance. By empowering employees through clearer, more accessible means of organization and representation, the government is nurturing a more engaged, satisfied, and effective workforce.

Tips and Reminders for Members of Government Workers Organizations

  1. Stay informed: Regularly check official government websites or communication channels to stay updated on organizational policies, announcements, and important deadlines.
  2. Network and collaborate: Engage with colleagues and fellow government workers to foster professional relationships, share knowledge, and collaborate on projects.
  3. Attend training and development programs: Take advantage of training opportunities provided by your organization to enhance your skills and stay current in your field.
  4. Maintain professional conduct: Uphold professional ethics, integrity, and confidentiality in all your interactions and work-related activities.
  5. Stay organized: Keep track of important documents, deadlines, and tasks using calendars, to-do lists, or project management tools.
  6. Participate in employee engagement efforts: Get involved in team-building activities, social events, and employee recognition programs to foster a positive work environment.
  7. Seek support from employee assistance programs: If you encounter personal or work-related challenges, utilize the resources and support available through your organization’s employee assistance programs.

Related Updates

DOLE to Establish Rehabilitation Center Complex for Workers in the Philippines

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced plans to construct a rehabilitation center complex in Tanay, Rizal, dedicated to assisting workers who have been affected by occupational hazards. This facility aims to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to help workers recover and reintegrate into the workforce after experiencing work-related accidents or injuries. The initiative reinforces DOLE’s commitment to worker welfare and underscores the significance of supporting workers’ physical and mental well-being. (Inquirer)

DOLE Reminds Employers to Prioritize Occupational Safety During High Temperatures

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued a reminder to employers to observe occupational safety practices as the country faces high temperatures. To ensure the well-being of workers, employers are urged to follow Labor Advisory 8, which outlines safety measures for extreme heat, including the use of protective equipment, provision of breaks, and proper workplace ventilation. This initiative emphasizes the importance of safeguarding workers’ health and safety in challenging weather conditions. (Inquirer)


As we move forward, it is essential for government employees to familiarize themselves with these new regulations and understand how they can be a part of this transformative journey. The right to self-organize is not merely a statutory benefit but a fundamental aspect of ensuring a democratic work environment where the voices of all employees can be heard and valued.

This new chapter in the rights of government workers opens a plethora of opportunities for advocacy, growth, and improved labor relations in the Philippines’ public sector. As members of this vibrant community, embracing these changes can lead to a more empowered, equitable, and effective governance landscape.

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