May members of a labor organization be validly represented by a non-lawyer in a labor case?
Article 222 of the Labor Code of the Philippines allows non-lawyers to appear before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) or any Labor Arbiter if they represent themselves or if they represent their organization or members thereof.
Hence, members of labor organizations may be validly represented by a non-lawyer in a labor case. However, their appearances shall strictly conform to the rules provided in 2005 Revised Rules of Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission. Section 8 (b), Rule III thereof provides that a non-lawyer may appear as counsel in any of the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter or Commission if he represents a legitimate labor organization, as defined under Article 212 and 242 of the Labor Code, as amended, which is a party to the case: provided, that he presents: 1) a certification from the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) or Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) attesting that the organization he represents is duly registered and listed in the roster of legitimate labor organizations; 2) a verified certification issued by the secretary of the said organization stating that he is authorized to represent it in the said case; and 3) a copy of the resolution of the board of directors of the said organization granting him such authority.
Any appearance made in contravention of the foregoing shall not be recognized in any of the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter or the Commission. Appearances may be made orally or in writing. In both cases, the complete name and office address of both parties shall be made on record and the adverse party or his counsel or representative shall be properly notified. One who is validly representing another in a labor case shall have the authority to bind his client/s in all matters of procedure but he cannot enter into a compromise agreement with the opposing party in full or partial discharge of his client’s claim without a special power of attorney or express consent of the latter (Section 9, Rule III, 2005 Revised Rules of Procedure of the NLRC).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.