Laguesma confirmed as Labor chief

The Commission on Appointments on Tuesday confirmed the ad interim appointment of lawyer Bienvenido Laguesma as the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Laguesma’s confirmation came after the CA’s Committee on Labor, Employment, Social Welfare and Migrant Workers endorsed his appointment to the plenary for approval.

During his confirmation hearing, Sen. Risa Hontiveros asked Laguesma about his plans for the gig economy workers such as delivery riders and other short-term contract workers.

He assured the lawmakers that he has plans to include other sectors from the gig economy for social protection and workmen’s compensation.

“This gig economy is a developing and evolving concept, the country benefited from this economy along with other economies during the height of the pandemic,” he said.

“About the delivery workers, our gig economy has a wider universe of workers, we agree that there should be a consultation with them but I may, we should also include freelancers, own-account workers, and online traders, which I believe should also have access to social protection,” he added.

Laguesma also assured that his agency will be fair to both employers and employees.

“I would like to reiterate that even before that I have not yet officially taken my oath to President Bongbong Marcos, I have already had a consultation with at least eight labor unions,” he said.

“Our office will be open to them, most especially now that I have a mandate that I should attend not only to things that concern our labor workers but also those of employers,” he added.

Laguesma is considered to be familiar with the position since he had already served as Labor secretary during the Estrada administration.

He also served as contractual mediator and arbiter under the administration of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

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