When did the Labor Code start?

Here is a discussion on the birth of the Labor Code. This is based on Azucena, C.A. (2013)'s outline in his book on labor standards. Please see citation below; his books are available in fine bookstore nationwide.

The writing of a labor code began in 1968 under the leadership of the then Minister of Labor, Mr. Blas F. Ople, who deserves being regarded as the “Father of the Labor Code.” The objective was not merely to consolidate the then existing pieces of labor legislation — of which there were about sixty scattered in laws passed before, during and after the Commonwealth — but also to reorient them to the needs of economic development and justice. This aim was in line with the prescription of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy Mission of the International Labor Organization (Ranis Report) that the elevation of real wages, incomes and living standards was a function of employment generation and economic expansion. (Blas Ople. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blas_Ople)

As Labor Secretary Ople was instrumental in the framing of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which codified the labor laws of the country and introduced innovations such as prohibiting the termination of workers without legal cause. Ople instituted labor policies institutionalizing the technical education of workers. In 1976, Ople initiated a program for the overseas employment of Filipino workers. It was during his tenure at Labor that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were created. Ople obtained recognition from the International Labour Organization during his stint as Labor Minister. In 1975, he was elected president of the 60th International Labour Conference of the ILO, the first Filipino to hold that post. In 1983, that organization awarded Ople a Gold Medal of Appreciation. He was a close adviser of President Marcos, though he was not later to be associated with the corruption of the Marcos' government and was perceived as "not corrupt". He created international headlines in December 1984 when he admitted to the press that the lupus-stricken Marcos was incapacitated to the point of being unable "to take major initiatives", and that the President's illness had placed the Philippines in "a kind of interregnum". Marcos responded a few days later by baring his chest to his Cabinet before television cameras to dispel rumors that he was seriously ill or had undergone surgery. (Blas Ople. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blas_Ople)

In 1965, Ople was appointed as Social Security Commissioner by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. In 1967, he was appointed Secretary of Labor and Employment (in 1978 the position was renamed Minister of Labor and Employment). He resigned briefly in 1971 to run an unsuccessful campaign for election to the Philippine Senate, but was re-appointed to his post in 1972, retaining the position until 1986. At the time of his appointment, Ople was perceived as a "leftist Nationalist". His leftist credentials were enhanced when he co-founded, in 1972, the Philippine-Soviet Friendship Society.

The road to the approval of the Code was long and tortuous. The project had to gather invaluable contributions from the different bureaus of the Department of Labor, the Department of Industry and the Board of Investments, the UP Law Center, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), the National Economic and Development Authority, and the various trade union centers. After about seven times of drafting and redrafting, the Code was ratified, albeit quickly, by a National Tripartite Congress on April 28, 1973 and submitted to the President on May 1, 1973. In between Labor Days, it underwent further revisions. On May 1, 1974, it was signed into law as P.D. No. 442. (Azucena, C.A, 2013)

But at the same time, the Dictator-President announced that the Code would take effect after six months. Months of silence followed. When the Code resurfaced, it was loaded with extensive changes through P.D. No. 570-A. This decree was made public, signed, and declared to take effect on one and the same day – November 1, 1974. No prior announcement, no prior publication. That was an instance of dictatorial lawmaking during the Dictator’s twenty-year rule. (Azucena, C.A, 2013)

The Labor Code has been amended numerous times since it was first enacted. The most significant amendment was brought about by the passage of Republic Act (R.A.) 6175, which was enacted on March 2, 1989, under the administration of President Corazon C. Aquino. R.A. 6715 is also known as the Herrera Law and was authored by Senator Ernesto Herrera.[1] Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani also introduced amendments to strengthen prohibitions against discrimination against women. Subsequent amendments were also introduced under the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos. (Labor Code of the Philippines. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Code_of_the_Philippines)