Emerging stronger and innovative from the digital limits brought about by the pandemic, the UP Diliman School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP SOLAIR) conducted the first onsite class of the Workers’ Institute on Labor Laws (WILL) program last 20-22 June 2024. Now on its 190th class, the WILL is a compressed course aimed at introducing labor laws to the public, premised on UP SOLAIR’s commitment to empower labor; democratize and humanize industrial relations; and promote social justice.

This is also the first time for the three-day WILL program to be held in the recently inaugurated West Wing Building of UP SOLAIR. Around sixty (60) participants from Metro Manila; from the nearby provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga, and Quezon; and from as far as Cebu, Negros Oriental, Palawan, and Davao completed the program. The WILL 190 class was mostly comprised of senior and junior human resource personnel from the public and private sectors, as well as trade union members and officers from the manufacturing, education, BPO, and transportation and storage industries.

The WILL 190 speakers were: Atty. Arnold de Vera and Atty. Leo Battad from the UP College of Law; Atty. Marie Hazel Lavitoria, Executive Director of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN); and Atty. Ramon Saura III from the Department of Labor and Employment, Bureau of Labor Relations.  The lecturers from UP SOLAIR were Atty. Rosalio Aragon Jr., who is also currently a member of the National Tripartite Wage and Productivity Commission; and Atty. Alvin Liao Alburo, who is managing partner at Alburo Alburo & Associates Law Offices. This is the first in the known history of UP SOLAIR’s WILL program that a total of six (6) resource speakers, all with exemplary experience and involvement in labor law, were engaged to optimize the learning experience of program participants. All the WILL speakers delivered insightful, timely, and engaging lectures on a wide array of labor law topics that practically covered the entire Philippine Labor Code. An overwhelming number of program participants expressed that the lineup of speakers was what they liked best about the WILL Class 190.

The WILL Class 190 Organizing Team is headed by UP SOLAIR Assistant Professor and College Secretary Dr. Verna Dinah Viajar, whose WILL directorship is her first official involvement with the school’s WILL program. The WILL Directorship is rotated among the UP SOLAIR Faculty for every class intake. The entire UP SOLAIR REPS and Administrative Staff were engaged in the preparations and the conduct of the very first post-pandemic in-person WILL 190 class, the success of which affirms UP SOLAIR’s dedication in promoting and ensuring decent work for all.

Distinguished by its many firsts, the WILL Class 190 is definitely not the last of its kind. UP SOLAIR continues to offer the WILL as one of its regular institutional programs, with two (2) more classes expected to be conducted in 2024. Updates on the schedule of upcoming WILL classes are announced on the UP SOLAIR website and official Facebook page.