2009 Accomplishment Report


2009 is the 35th year of existence of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and this marked another milestone in the NLRC history.


In reviewing the achievements of the NLRC since its establishment by the Labor Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 442), which took effect on November 1, 1974,  the NLRC had proven its worth as a successor to the Court of Industrial Relations.  


The NLRC was created to “promote and maintain industrial peace through an effective dispute settlement machinery”. As a quasi-judicial body, it is empowered to adjudicate labor disputes through the process of mediation, conciliation and compulsory arbitration.  It is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for program and policy coordination only.


Thus, disputes between labor and management sometimes end up in the NLRC for settlement. 


The adjudication powers of the NLRC are being exercised by Labor Arbiters in the fifteen (15) regional arbitration branches (RABs) and the Commission Proper that now sits in eight (8) divisions.  The last two divisions had just been created in the later part of 2008 and 2009 respectively


Labor arbiters have initial jurisdiction to settle unfair labor practice cases; termination disputes; including demands for reinstatement, payment and rates of wages, hours of work, terms and conditions of employment; claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from employer-employee relations involving an amount of more than five thousand pesos (P5,000.00).  They are likewise tasked to settle questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts.


Under Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, Labor Arbiters also have the power to settle money claims of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).


Another law, Republic Act 9347, which took effect in August 2006, intensifies the functions of the NLRC by increasing its composition of a Chairman and Commission members from fourteen (14) to twenty-three (23), resulting to an increase in the number of its divisions from five (5) to eight (8).


The Commission Proper decides on labor cases brought to it on appeal from decisions of the RABs headed by Executive Labor Arbiters.  It also handles national interest cases certified to it by the Secretary of Labor, as well as petitions seeking to enjoin or restrain any actual or threatened action of prohibited or unlawful acts in any labor dispute.


Each of the eight divisions of the Commission is composed of representatives from both the labor and management sectors, with the Presiding Commissioner representing the government. Six of the eight divisions are Metro Manila-based. They handle cases coming from the National Capital Region and from other parts of Luzon. One division, sitting in Cebu City, handles cases coming from the Visayas region. And another division, handling cases coming from the Mindanao region, is based in Cagayan de Oro City. The NLRC is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for program and policy coordination under Republic Act No. 6715, but otherwise, it is independent in the exercise of its powers and functions.


The mandate to resolve labor disputes was at its best for the last three years or during incumbent Chairman, Gerardo C. Nograles’, stint despite the same financial resources with the previous years. 




For the year, the NLRC resolved a total of 46,329 cases or 13,504 cases in the Commission Proper and 32,825 cases in the regional arbitration branches (RABs).


Commission Proper (Appeal)

Regional Arbitration Branches (Original)








Both the Commission Proper and the RABs exceeded its target disposition rate by more than 100%.  The Commission Proper attained one hundred twenty-nine percent (129%) of its target disposition of 10,500 cases while the RABs attained one hundred seven percent (107%)  of its target case disposition of 30,500 cases.






% OF


Commission Proper










From the total cases resolved in the Commission Proper, fifty-four percent (54%) were in favor of labor and forty-six percent (46%) were in favor of management.  In the RABs, sixty-eight percent (68%) were in favor of labor and thirty-two percent (32%) were in favor of management.


The total amount of the judgment award in the Commission Proper arrived at P2.6 billion while in the RABs, total judgment award reached P4.4 billion.


As to the report on affirmance by the higher courts, ninety percent (90%) or 825 out of the 917 NLRC cases raised to the Court of Appeals have been affirmed.  With regard to the cases elevated to the Supreme Court, eighty-six percent (86%) or 747 out of 867 NLRC cases were affirmed.


This year also saw the priority deliverable projects that the DOLE has identified.  Among the programs with NLRC as an implementor is called “Project Speed”.  The project aims to reduce case backlog through 100 percent disposition of all labor cases pending as of April 30, 2009 by March 31, 2010 and to ensure that its dockets remain current. 


As of December 31, 2009,  the RABs attained a ninety-three percent (93%) accomplishment in the disposition of cases enrolled in the projectorhaving actually resolved 21,777 out of the 23,391 enrolled cases.


In the Commission Proper, an eighty-four percent (84%) accomplishment has been attained with the disposition of 8,235 cases out of 9,817 cases enrolled in the project


This has been attained by the NLRC as it continued to adopt strategies such as: 


1)  adoption of quota system for the Labor Arbiters;

2)  implementation of task force/s; and

3)  strict monitoring of performance and imposition of sanction such as withholding of RATA.


            The final result of this project would be seen after March 2010.




During the year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has  identified its priority deliverable projects and one of these deliverables is called, Project Speed, where NLRC is among the implementors.  Project Speed aims to reduce case backlog through 100 percent disposition of all labor cases pending as of April 30, 2009 by March 31, 2010 and to ensure that its dockets remain current. 


As of December 31, 2009,  the RABs disposed of ninety-seven percent (97%) or 10,872 cases  of its 11,236 beginning caseload in 2009.  The 12,155 cases it received  from January to April 2009 has left only ten percent (10%) in dockets of RABs, having disposed  10,905  or a 90 percent accomplishment..


In the Commission Proper, the


To achieve these objectives, the NLRC continued to adopt its strategies such as:  1) adoption of quota system for the Labor Arbiters; 2) implementation of task force/s; 3) Strict monitoring The lesser number of Labor Arbiters in 2009, from 95 in 2008 to 86 this year in review, has caused a 3.19 percent decline in the number of disposed cases in the RAB level.  Although there is a decrease in disposition, a 1.5 percent increase in the number of cases received was still felt.  Ending case load in the RABs slightly decrease







Regional Arbitration Branches (Original)

Commission Proper (Appeal)


13, 505






Out of the 17,285 cases handled by the Commission Proper by end of December 2009, the Divisions resolved 13,505 cases which is slightly higher by zero point six percent (0.6%) or 78 cases than the resolution of 13,427 cases in 2008.


Once again, the NLRC went beyond its target disposition rate by more than a hundred percent. Targeted to be disposed in the appellate level was 10,500 cases, but actual cases disposition reached 13,504 casesattaining one hundred twenty percent (120%).


The disposition rate in 2009 was seventy-eight percent (78%) or eight percent (8%)higher than the disposition rate of seventy percent (70%) in 2008.


Received on appeal in the seven divisions were 11,527 cases, which is  lower by six percent (6%)  than the 12,266 cases filed on appeal in 2008.


Cases handled is likewise lower by nine point eight percent (9.8%) than the 19.153 cases handled in 2008.


The beginning balance of 5,758 cases generated a reduction of 1,978 cases with an ending balance of 3,780 as of December 31, 2009.

Out of 5,726 ending case load in the Commission Proper for 2008, 3,858 cases were filed only in 2008, leaving only 1,868 cases which were filed in 2007 and earlier.

In terms of percentage, the Commission Proper’s backlog of 1,868 cases (filed in 2007 and earlier) represents only 3.87 percent of the cases received for the same reference period.

The amount of the judgment award on the appealed cases hit on P2,480,209,916.59  in 2008 while in 2007, it reached P1,722,387,768.01.


The number of workers benefited by the decisions and resolutions of the Commission Proper in 2008 rose to 14,979, which is higher by 58 percent than the 9,479 workers benefited in 2007.

More cases were resolved in favor of labor which comprised 51 percent of the total number of cases disposed of, while 49 percent of the cases resolved were in favor of management. 

The Commission Proper achieved 11,534 by October 31, 2009 or an accomplishment of 109 percent of its target case disposition of 10,500 by end of December 2009.


The Regional Arbitration Branches (RABs) achieved 27,422 by October 31, 2009 or an accomplishment of 90 percent of its target case disposition of 30,500 by end of December 2009.  Of this number, ___ percent were disposed through settlement.


The celebration of the NLRC’s 35th  year founding anniversary had the theme, “NLRC at 35: More Alive with New Drive for Zero Backlog” which actualizes one of the priority deliverables referred to as Project Speed of its mother umbrella, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).


Indeed, it mirrors a commitment to look at new approaches in speedy and efficient delivery of labor justice. In line with this, Chairman Nograles, reported an exemplary performance which was the best ever since its creation in 1974.