RULE VI : Apprenticeship Training and Employment of Special Workers

SECTION 1. Objectives. — The promotion, development, and maintenance of apprenticeship programs shall have the following objectives:

(a) To meet the needs of the economy for training manpower in the widest possible range of employment;

(b) To establish a national apprenticeship program through the participation of employers, workers, government, civic and other groups; and

(c) To establish apprenticeship standards for the protection of apprentices and upgrading of skills.

SECTION 2. Definition of terms. —

(a) "Apprenticeship" means any training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instructions involving apprenticeable occupations and trades as may be approved by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

(b) "Apprentice" is a worker who is covered by a written apprenticeship agreement with an employer.

(c) "Apprenticeship agreement" is a written employment contract wherein the employer binds himself to train the apprentice and the latter in turn agrees to work for the employer.

(d) "Apprenticeable occupation" means any trade, form of employment or occupation approved for apprenticeship by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, which requires for proficiency more than three months of practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instructions.

(e) "Apprenticeship standards" means the written implementing plans and conditions of an apprenticeship program.

(f) "Bureau" means the Bureau of Apprenticeship.

(g) "Employer" means the individual firm or any other entity qualified to hire apprentice under the Code.

(h) "On the job training" is the practical work experience through actual participation in productive activities given to or acquired by an apprentice.

(i) "Related theoretical instructions" means technical information based on apprenticeship standards approved by the Bureau designed to provide the apprentice theoretical competence in his trade.

(j) "Highly Technical Industries" means trade, business, enterprise, industry, or other activity, which is engaged in the application of advanced technology.

SECTION 3. Voluntary nature of apprenticeship program. — The organization of apprenticeship program shall be primarily a voluntary undertaking of employers, except as otherwise provided.

SECTION 4. Venue of on-the-job training. — The practical aspect of on-the-job training of apprentices may be undertaken:

(a) In the plant, shop or premises of the employer or firm concerned if the apprenticeship program is organized by an individual employer or firm;

(b) In the premises of one or several firms designated for the purpose by the organizer of the program if such organizer is an association of employers, civic group and the like; and

(c) In a Department of Labor and Employment Training Center or other public training institutions with which the Bureau has made appropriate arrangements.

SECTION 5. On-the-job training to be explicitly described. — The manner in which practical or on-the-job training shall be provided must be specifically described in the apprenticeship standards of a particular program.

SECTION 6. Recognition of apprenticeship programs. — To enjoy the benefits which the Bureau or other government agencies may extend to duly recognized apprenticeship programs, an employer shall submit in quadruplicate to the Training Section of the appropriate Apprenticeship Division of the appropriate Regional Office the apprenticeship standards of the proposed program prepared in accordance with guidelines set by the Bureau.

If the apprenticeship standards are found in order, a certificate of recognition shall be issued by the Apprenticeship Division concerned within five (5) days from receipt thereof.

SECTION 7. Benefits accruing to recognition. — An entity with a recognized apprenticeship program shall be entitled to technical and other assistance from the Bureau and other government agencies and to the corresponding training-expense deduction from its income tax. The rate of such tax deduction incentive and the procedure of availment thereof are provided in Section 42 of this Rule.

SECTION 8. Trades to be included in apprenticeship programs. — Only trades and occupations declared apprenticeable by the Secretary of Labor and Employment may be included in apprenticeship programs.

SECTION 9. Who may establish programs. — Any entity, whether or not organized for profit may establish or sponsor apprenticeship programs and employ apprentices.

SECTION 10. Assistance by non-profit entities. — In lieu of organizing programs, non-profit entities may:

(a) Execute an agreement with firms of their choice with on-going apprenticeship programs, directly or through the Department of Labor and Employment, assuming responsibility for training deserving apprentices selected by an employer who shall pay the apprentices;

(b) Give financial and other contributions for the promotion of apprenticeship programs; or

(c) Provide other forms of assistance.

Apprentices who train under such programs shall be properly identified in apprenticeship agreements with the employer. However, responsibility for compliance with employees' compensation, social security, medicare and other labor laws shall remain with the employer who benefits from the productive efforts of the apprentices.

SECTION 11. Qualifications of apprentices. — To qualify as apprentice, an applicant shall:

(a) Be at least fifteen years of age; provided those who are at least fifteen years of age but less than eighteen may be eligible for apprenticeship only in non-hazardous occupations;

(b) Be physically fit for the occupation in which he desires to be trained;

(c) Possess vocational aptitude and capacity for the particular occupation as established through appropriate tests; and

(d) Possess the ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions.

Trade and industry associations may, however, recommend to the Secretary of Labor and Employment appropriate educational qualifications for apprentices in certain occupations. Such qualifications, if approved, shall be the educational requirements for apprenticeship in such occupations unless waived by an employer in favor of an applicant who has demonstrated exceptional ability. A certification explaining briefly the ground for such waiver, and signed by the person in charge of the program, shall be attached to the apprenticeship agreement of the applicant concerned.

SECTION 12. Aptitude tests. — An employer who has a recognized apprenticeship program shall provide aptitude tests to apprentice-applicants. However, if the employer does not have adequate facilities, the Department of Labor and Employment may provide the service free of charge.

SECTION 13. Physical fitness. — Total physical fitness need not be required of an apprentice-applicant unless it is essential to the expeditious and effective learning of the occupation. Only physical defects which constitute real impediments to effective performance as determined by the plant apprenticeship committee may disqualify an applicant.

SECTION 14. Free physical examination. — Physical examination of apprentice-applicant preparatory to employment shall be provided free of charge by the Department of Health or any government hospital. If this is not feasible, the firm or entity screening the applicant shall extend such service free of charge.

Any entity with an apprenticeship program may elect to assume the responsibility for physical examination provided its facilities are adequate and all expenses are borne exclusively by it.

SECTION 15. Apprenticeable trades. — The Bureau shall evaluate crafts and operative, technical, nautical, commercial, clerical, technological, supervisory, service and managerial activities which may be declared apprenticeable by the Secretary of Labor and Employment and shall have exclusive jurisdiction to formulate model national apprenticeship standards therefor.

SECTION 16. Model standards. — Model apprenticeship standards to be set by the Bureau shall include the following:

(a) Those affecting employment of apprentices under different occupational conditions;

(b) Those involving theoretical and proficiency tests for apprentices during their training;

(c) Areas and duration of work and study covered by on-the-job training and theoretical instructions of apprenticeable trades and occupations; and

(d) Those referring to the qualifications of trainers of apprentices.

SECTION 17. Participation in standards setting. — The Bureau may request any legitimate worker's and employer's organizations, civic and professional groups, and other entities whether public or private, to assist in the formulation of national apprenticeship standards.

SECTION 18. Contents of agreement. — Every apprenticeship agreement shall include the following:

(a) The full names and addresses of the contracting parties;

(b) Date of birth of the apprentice;

(c) Name of the trade, occupation or job in which the apprentice will be trained and the dates on which such training will begin and will approximately end;

(d) The approximate number of hours of on-the-job training as well as of supplementary theoretical instructions which the apprentice shall undergo during his training;

(e) A schedule of the work processes of the trade/occupation in which the apprentice shall be trained and the approximate time to be spent on the job in each process;

(f) The graduated scale of wages to be paid the apprentice;

(g) The probationary period of the apprentice during which either party may summarily terminate their agreement; and

(h) A clause that if the employer is unable to fulfill his training obligation, he may transfer the agreement, with the consent of the apprentice, to any other employer who is willing to assume such obligation.

SECTION 19. Apprenticeship period. — The period of apprenticeship shall not exceed six (6) months.

(a) Four hundred (400) hours or two (2) months for trades or occupations which normally require a year or more for proficiency; and

(b) Two hundred (200) hours or one (1) month for occupations and jobs which require more than three months but less than one year for proficiency.

At least five (5) working days before the actual date of termination, the party terminating shall serve a written notice on the other, stating the reason for such decision and a copy of said notice shall be furnished the Apprenticeship Division concerned.

SECTION 20. Hours of work. — Hours of work of the apprentice shall not exceed the maximum number of hours of work prescribed by law, if any, for a worker of his age and sex. Time spent in related theoretical instructions shall be considered as hours of work and shall be reckoned jointly with on-the-job training time in computing in the agreement the appropriate periods for giving wage increases to the apprentice.

An apprentice not otherwise barred by law from working eight hours a day may be requested by his employer to work overtime and paid accordingly, provided there are no available regular workers to do the job, and the overtime work thus rendered is duly credited toward his training time.

SECTION 21. Previous training or experience. — A prospective apprentice who has completed or otherwise attended a vocational course in a duly recognized trade or vocational school or training center or who has had previous experience in the trade or occupation in which he desires to be apprenticed shall be given due credit therefor.

Both practical and theoretical knowledge shall be evaluated and the credit shall appear in the apprenticeship agreement which shall have the effect of shortening the training and servicing as a basis for promoting him to a higher wage level. Such credit shall be expressed in terms of hours.

SECTION 22. Parties to agreement. — Every apprenticeship agreement shall be signed by the employer or his duly authorized representative and by the apprentice.

An apprenticeship agreement with a minor shall be signed in his behalf by his parent or guardian, or if the latter is not available, by an authorized representative of the Department of Labor and Employment.

SECTION 23. Bureau and Apprenticeship Division of Regional Office concerned to be furnished copy of agreement. — The employer shall furnish a copy of the apprenticeship agreement to the Bureau and Apprenticeship Division of Regional Office concerned and the agency which shall provide related theoretical instructions if the employer is not the one who will give such instructions. The copies shall be sent by the employer within five (5) working days from the date of execution thereof. If the agreement is found defective and serious damage would be sustained by either party if such defect is not corrected, the Apprenticeship Division shall advise the employer within five (5) working days not to implement the agreement pending amendment thereof. Other defects may be correlated without suspending the effectivity of the agreement.

SECTION 24. Enforcement of agreement. — No person shall institute any action for the enforcement of any apprenticeship agreement or for damages for breach thereof, unless he has exhausted all available administrative remedies. The plant apprenticeship committee shall have initial responsibility for settling differences arising out of apprenticeship agreements.

SECTION 25. Valid cause to terminate agreement. — Either party to an agreement may terminate the same after the probationary period only for a valid cause. The following are valid causes for termination:

By the employer — (a) Habitual absenteeism in on-the-job training and related theoretical instructions;
(b) Willful disobedience of company rules or insubordination to lawful order of a superior;

(c) Poor physical condition, permanent disability or prolonged illness which incapacitates the apprentice from working;

(d) Theft or malicious destruction of company property and/or equipment;

(e) Poor efficiency or performance on the job or in the classroom for a prolonged period despite warnings duly given to the apprentice; and

(f) Engaging in violence or other forms of gross misconduct inside the employer's premises.

By the apprentice — (a) Substandard or deleterious working conditions within the employer's premises:

(b) Repeated violations by the employer of the terms of the apprenticeship agreement;

(c) Cruel or inhuman treatment by the employer or his subordinates;

(d) Personal problems which in the opinion of the apprentice shall prevent him from a satisfactory performance of his job; and

(e) Bad health or continuing illness.

SECTION 26. Procedure of termination. — The procedure for effecting termination shall be embodied in appropriate instructions to be prepared by the Bureau and approved by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

SECTION 27. Theoretical instructions by employer. — Related theoretical instructions to apprentices may be undertaken by the employer himself if he has adequate facilities and qualified instructors for the purpose. He shall indicate his intention to assume such responsibility in the apprenticeship standard of his program. The course outline and the bio-data of the instructors who will conduct the course shall conform with the standards set by the Department.

SECTION 28. Ratio of theoretical instruction and on-the-job training. — The normal ratio is one hundred (100) hours of theoretical instructions for every two thousand (2,000) hours of practical or on-the-job training. Theoretical instructions time for occupations requiring less than two thousand hours for proficiency shall be computed on the basis of such ratio.

SECTION 29. Wages. — The wage rate of the apprentice shall start at seventy five (75%) per cent of the statutory minimum wage for the first six (6) months; thereafter, he shall be paid the full minimum wage, including the full cost of living allowance.

SECTION 30. Tripartite apprenticeship committees. — The creation of a plant apprenticeship committee for every apprenticeship program shall be necessary. The Department of Labor and Employment shall encourage the organization of apprenticeship committees at trade, industry or other levels. As much as possible these committees shall consist of management, labor and government representatives.

SECTION 31. Non-tripartite committees. — Where tripartism is not feasible, the apprenticeship committee may be composed of:

(a) Technical personnel in the plant, trade or industry concerned;

(b) Labor and management representatives.
Representatives of cooperative, civic and other groups may also participate in such committees.

SECTION 32. Duties of apprenticeship committees. — An apprenticeship committee at any level shall be responsible for the following duties:

(a) Act as liaison between the apprentice and the employees;

(b) Mediate and/or settle in the first instance differences between the employer and the apprentices arising out of an apprenticeship agreement;

(c) Maintain a constant follow-up on the technical progress of the program and of the apprentices in particular;

(d) Recommend to the Apprenticeship Division of the Regional Office concerned the issuance of certificates of completion to apprentices.

SECTION 33. Creation of ad hoc advisory committees. — The Secretary of Labor and Employment may create ad hoc committees consisting of representatives of management, labor and government on the national, regional and local levels to advise and assist him in the formulation of policy, promotion of apprenticeship and other matters he may deem appropriate to refer to them.

SECTION 34. Use of training centers. — The Department may utilize the facilities and services of the National Manpower and Youth Council, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and other public training institutions for the training of apprentices.

SECTION 35. Coordination of training activities. — The apprenticeship Division shall coordinate with the above training centers all activities relating to apprenticeship. The Bureau, through the Apprenticeship Division, shall provide technical guidance and advice to the centers.

SECTION 36. Priority in use of training centers. — Priority in the use of training centers shall be given to recognized apprenticeship programs in skills which are highly in demand in specific regions or localities as determined through surveys. The Bureau shall recommend to the Secretary of Labor and Employment the establishment of priorities based on data supplied by the Bureau of Local Employment, Labor Statistics Service, the National Manpower and Youth Council, and its own fundings. The Secretary of Labor and Employment may, however, also act on the basis of petitions presented by qualified entities which are willing to bear the costs of training.

SECTION 37. Issuance of certificates. — Upon completion of his training, the apprentice shall be issued a certificate of completion of apprenticeship by the Apprenticeship Division of the Regional Office concerned.

SECTION 38. Certificate of meritorious service. — A certificate of meritorious service may be awarded by the Secretary of Labor and Employment to apprenticeship committees or other entities which have rendered outstanding service to the cause of apprenticeship.

SECTION 39. Certificate, evidence of skills. — A certificate of completion of apprenticeship shall be evidence of the skills specified therein in accordance with national skills standards established by the Department.

SECTION 40. Apprenticeship without compensation. — The Secretary of Labor and Employment through the Apprenticeship Division, may authorize the hiring of apprentices without compensation whose training on the job is required by the school curriculum as a prerequisite for graduation or for taking a government board examination.

SECTION 41. Compulsory apprenticeship. — (a) When grave national emergencies, particularly those involving the security of the state, arise or particular requirements of economic development so demand, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may recommend to the President of the Philippines the compulsory training of apprentices required in a certain trades, occupations, jobs or employment levels where shortage of trained manpower is deemed critical;

(b) Where services of foreign technicians are utilized by private companies in apprenticeable trades said companies are required to set up appropriate apprenticeship programs.

SECTION 42. Certification from Apprenticeship Division. — An employer desiring to avail of the tax deduction provided under the Code shall secure from the Apprenticeship Division a certification that his apprenticeship program was operational during the taxable year concerned. Such certification shall be attached to the employer's income tax returns for the particular year. Guidelines for the issuance of such certification shall be prepared by the Bureau and approved by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.