June 6, 2023

Security guards are a common presence in private and government offices, schools, commercial establishments, and residential areas. Among them is Roy Lawagan who worked with the Commission on Audit office in La Trinidad, Benguet in 2016, and is now an inspiration to students, his fellow sekyus, and the community. Today, Roy is called Atty. Roy Lawagan.
Security guards follow a dress code. Those posted at the entrance and exit doors wear the standard blue and white uniform, while those assigned inside the premises are in barong tagalog or civilian clothes to conceal their identity.
Based on the records of the licensing office of the Philippine National Police, there are approximately 500,000 licensed private security guards in the country. This does not include those hired directly as personal bodyguards. They outnumber the 130,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP’s more or less 160,000 personnel. To their credit, the PNP considers security guards as force multipliers in areas where it has limited personnel or unable to send mobile cars for regular patrols.
Although security guards put their lives and limbs on the line in the performance of their duties, they are, sadly, often underpaid and deprived of the benefits that private employees are entitled to under the law and to promote the welfare of these unsung guardians of persons and properties.
The Department of Labor and Employment issued Department Order 150-16, s. 2016, which spelled out the rules on employment and working conditions of security guards and other security personnel in the private security industry. The rules state that security guards and other private security personnel assigned to a person or company (principal) are considered employees of the security service contractor (SSC) or private security agency (PSA).
When a service agreement is entered into between a PSA and a principal, the concerned DOLE office can order the parties to submit to it a copy of the agreement. The agreement should contain, among others, provisions relating to the nature of the work to be done, its terms and conditions, and the basic equipment (at least one handgun) to be provided to the guards.
Recently, DOLE Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III issued Labor Advisory 15-19 or the Clarificatory Guidelines on DOLE DO 150, s. 2016 or the “Revised guidelines governing the employment and working conditions of security guards and other private security personnel in the private security industry.”
To ensure compliance with mandatory employment benefits for security guards and other private security personnel in the private security industry as provided for under DOLE DO 150, s. 2016, Labor Advisory 15-19 in the conduct of routine or complaint inspection of establishment that engages the services of PSAs or security service contractors, the labor inspectors will review documents that may be required under the general labor standards, labor laws, social legislations, and its implementing rules and regulations, particularly DO 174, s. 2017 and DO 150, s. 2016 such as, but not limited to, the administrative fee that shall not be less than 20 percent of the total contract cost. Such stipulation shall be contained in the service agreement between the principal and the SSC/PSA. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be deemed a violation of Section 4(b) of DO 150, s. 2016;
Pursuant to Section 4 (d) and Section 9.1 (b) of DO 150, s. 2016, the automatic crediting provision shall be required to be included in the service agreement. The issuance of a new wage order shall automatically amend the service agreement and the prescribed increases shall be primarily borne by the principal. Accordingly, the contract cost shall be adjusted in conformity with the mandated wage increase.
Section 4(g) of DO 150, s. 2016 only requires an undertaking that the SSC/PSA will directly remit monthly the employers’ share and employees’ contributions to Social Security System, Employees Compensation Commission, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig be included in the service agreement. There is no requirement under the law that the SSC/PSA shall submit proof of actual remittance to the principal as a precondition for payment of the contract cost. Notwithstanding, the principal is not precluded from verifying the compliance of the SSC/PSA with the said undertaking.
While the schedule of payment of contract cost by principal to the SSC/PSA is generally subject to the agreement between the principal and the SSC/PSA, the parties, in accordance with the Labor Code of the Philippines and other relevant laws and regulationsshall be guided by the duty to guarantee timely payment of wages and other wage-related benefits and to ensure prompt remittance of mandatory contributions to SSS, ECC, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig.
Pursuant to Section 11 of DO 150, s. 2016 and Section 3 of the Rules of Procedure of the Single Entry Approach (SEnA), questions of delayed payment or underpayment of wages shall be subject to the 30-day mandatory conciliation mediation. Considering the joint and several liability of the principal and the SSC/PSA in case of failure to pay the wages, other wage-related benefits, and the prescribed increases pursuant to Sections 9.1 (a) and (b) of DO 150, s. 2016, the principal where the security guards and other private security personnel are deployed shall be considered a responding party for purposes of conciliation-mediation procedure under SEnA.
For more information on DO 150, s. 2016, DO 174, s. 2017, and Labor Advisory 15-19, visit www.dole.gov.ph and www.blr.dole.gov.ph.