Working Children's Right to Unionize (PD 603 & 1179)


Working children have the same freedom as adults to join the collective bargaining union of their own choosing in accordance with existing law. Under P.D. No. 603, it is clearly provided that neither management nor any collective bargaining union shall threaten or coerce working children to join, continue or withdraw as members of such union.

READ: Article 111, Chapter 3, Title VI, P.D. No. 603, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1179 which took effect on Aug. 15, 1977.


WHEREAS, some of the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 603, which deal with youthful offenders are deficient or ambiguous;

WHEREAS, it is necessary that said provisions be clarified and strengthened so as to promote their effectiveness in dealing with juvenile delinquency;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order as follows:

Section 1. Articles 189 and 190 of Presidential Decree No. 603 are hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 189.        Youthful Offender, Defined. A youthful offender is a child, minor or youth, including one who is emancipated in accordance with law who is over nine years but under eighteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.

A Child nine years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability and shall be committed to the care of his or her father or mother, or nearest relative or family friend in the discretion of the court and subject to its supervision. The same shall be done for a child over nine years and under fifteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense, unless he acted with discernment, in which case he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Article 192.

The provisions of Article 80 of the Revised Penal Code are hereby repealed by the provisions of this Chapter.

"Art. 190.        Physical and Mental Examination. It shall be the duty of the law-enforcement agency concerned to take the youthful offender, after his apprehension, to any available government medical or health officer in the area for a physical and mental examination. Whenever treatment for any physical or mental defect is indicated, steps shall be immediately undertaken to provide the same.

The examination and treatment papers shall form part of the record of the case of the youthful offender."

Section 2. Articles 192 and 193 of the same Decree are hereby amended as follows:

"Art. 192.        Suspension of Sentence and Commitment of Youthful Offender. If after hearing the evidence in the proper proceedings, the court should find that the youthful offender has committed the acts charged against him, the court shall determine the imposable penalty, including any civil liability chargeable against him. However, instead of pronouncing judgment of conviction, the court, upon application of the youthful offender if it finds that the best interest of the public as well as that of the offender will be served thereby, may suspend all further proceedings and commit such minor to the custody of care of the Department of Social Welfare, or to any training institution operated by the government or any other responsible person until he shall have reached twenty-one years of age, or for a shorter period as the court may deem proper, after considering the reports and recommendations of the Department of Social Welfare or the government training institution or responsible person under whose care he has been committed.

Upon receipt of the application of the youthful offender for suspension of his sentence, the court may require the Department of Social Welfare to prepare and submit to the court a social case study report over the offender and his family.

The youthful offender shall be subject to visitation and supervision by a representative of the Department of Social Welfare or government training institution as the court may designate subject to such conditions as it may prescribe.

The benefits of this article shall not apply to a youthful offender who has once enjoyed suspension of sentence under its provisions or to one who is convicted of an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment.

"Art. 193.        Appeal. The order of the court denying an application for suspension of sentence under the provisions of Article 192 above shall not be appealable."

Section 3. Article 195 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 195.        Report on Conduct of Child. The Department of Social Welfare or government training institution or individual under whose care the youthful offender has been committed shall submit to the court every four months or oftener as may be required in special cases, a written report on the conduct of said youthful offender as well as the intellectual, physical, moral, social and emotional progress made by him."

Section 4. Article 197 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 197.        Return of the Youthful Offender to Court. Whenever the youthful offender has been found incorrigible or has willfully failed to comply with the conditions of his rehabilitation programs, or should his continued stay in the training institution be inadvisable, he shall be returned to the committing court for the pronouncement of judgment.

When the youthful offender has reached the age of twenty-one while in commitment, the court shall determine whether to dismiss the case in accordance with the extent preceding article or to pronounce the judgment conviction. In the latter case, the convicted offender may apply for probation under the provisions of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine Hundred and Sixty-Eight.

In any case covered by this article, the youthful offender shall be credited in the service of his sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention effected under the provisions of this Chapter."

Section 5. Article 200 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 200.        Records of proceedings. Where a youthful offender has been charged before any city or provincial fiscal or before any municipal judge and the charges have been ordered dropped, all the records of the case shall be considered as privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to any one for any purpose whatsoever.

Where a youthful offender has been charged and the court acquits him, or dismisses the case or commits him to an institution and subsequently releases him pursuant to this Chapter, all the records of his case shall also be considered as privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone except to determine if a defendant may have his sentence suspended under Article 192 of this Decree or if he may be granted probation under the provisions of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine Hundred and Sixty-Eight or to enforce his civil liability, if said liability has been imposed in the criminal action. The youthful offender concerned shall not be held under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry made to him for any purpose.

"Records" within the meaning of this article shall include those which may be in the files of the National Bureau of Investigation and with any police department, or any other government agency which may have been involved in the case."

Section 6. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 15th day of August, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-seven.