Sen. Pia Cayetano: Stop Age Discrimination Among Filipino Workers
Senator Pia Cayetano on Labor Day has reiterated her call to end age discrimination in the Philippines and to provide fair employment opportunities to “older” members of the workforce.
The author of Senate Bill 29, or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Cayetano criticized the common practice of setting age limits for jobs at job fairs organized by government agencies and private firms.
SB29 disallows employers from publishing job vacancies indicating age requirements, as well as declining application or laying off of employees due to age.
“Our Constitution guarantees equal employment opportunities for all, and yet there is no law that prohibits age discrimination at work, not even an aggressive campaign by the labor department to seriously address this unfair practice.
“We see age discrimination openly being flaunted in job fairs and classified ads, where companies or employment agencies set specific age requirements for job seekers, such as between 20 to 30 years old. It is also in the employment policies of some industries, although sometimes discreetly,” Cayetano said.
The bill is now on second reading in the Senate, imposes a fine of between P50,000 and P500,000, or prison terms between 3 months and two years.
Cayetano said among those who will benefit the passage of the bill are the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Age discrimination is also a common concern among OFWs. Many of them are skilled and highly experienced workers who would be assets in any company or enterprise, but experience has shown them that turning 30 has been a serious obstacle to being hired locally. Thus, many of our OFWs are forced to stay abroad or return there, sometimes as illegal workers, or even risk their own life and safety as migrant workers in countries torn by conflict or war,” she said.