Compulsory Overtime

Can a school require the personnel of its school clinic to work overtime in view of circumstances which the school thinks necessitate the presence of these personnel? There seems to be no clear answer to this. The relevant rules on the matter can be found in The Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code of the Philippines, specifically Book III, Rule 1, Section 10 and Rule I-A, as follows:

SECTION 10. Compulsory overtime work. — In any of the following cases, an employer may require any of his employees to work beyond eight (8) hours a day, provided that the employee required to render overtime work is paid the additional compensation required by these regulations:

(a) When the country is at war or when any other national or local emergency has been declared by Congress or the Chief Executive;

(b) When overtime work is necessary to prevent loss of life or property, or in case of imminent danger to public safety due to actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accident, fire, floods, typhoons, earthquake, epidemic or other disaster or calamities;

(c) When there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipment, in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other causes of similar nature;

(d) When the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods;

(e) When the completion or continuation of work started before the 8th hour is necessary to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer; or

(f) When overtime work is necessary to avail of favorable weather or environmental conditions where performance or quality of work is dependent thereon.

In cases not falling within any of these enumerated in this Section, no employee may be made to work beyond eight hours a day against his will.

Hours of Work of Hospital and Clinic Personnel

SECTION 1. General statement on coverage. — This Rule shall apply to:

(a) All hospitals and clinics, including those with a bed capacity of less than one hundred (100) which are situated in cities or municipalities with a population of one million or more; and

(b) All hospitals and clinics with a bed capacity of at least one hundred (100), irrespective of the size of the population of the city or municipality where they may be situated.

SECTION 2. Hospitals or clinics within the meaning of this Rule. — The terms “hospitals” and “clinics” as used in this Rule shall mean a place devoted primarily to the maintenance and operation of facilities for the diagnosis, treatment and care of individuals suffering from illness, disease, injury, or deformity, or in need of obstetrical or other medical and nursing care. Either term shall also be construed as any institution, building, or place where there are installed beds, or cribs, or bassinets for twenty-four (24) hours use or longer by patients in the treatment of disease, injuries, deformities, or abnormal physical and mental states, maternity cases or sanitorial care; or infirmaries, nurseries, dispensaries, and such other similar names by which they may be designated.

SECTION 3. Determination of bed capacity and population. — (a) For purposes of determining the applicability of this Rule, the actual bed capacity of the hospital or clinic at the time of such determination shall be considered, regardless of the actual or bed occupancy. The bed capacity of hospital or clinic as determined by the Bureau of Medical Services pursuant to Republic Act No. 4226, otherwise known as the Hospital Licensure Act, shall prima facie be considered as the actual bed capacity of such hospital or clinic.

(b) The size of the population of the city or municipality shall be determined from the latest official census issued by the Bureau of the Census and Statistics.

SECTION 4. Personnel covered by this Rule. — This Rule applies to all persons employed by any private or public hospital or clinic mentioned in Section 1 hereof, and shall include, but not limited to, resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, laboratory technicians paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives, and attendants.

SECTION 5. Regular working hours. — The regular working hours of any person covered by this Rule shall not be more than eight (8) hours in any one day nor more than forty (40) hours in any one week.

For purposes of this Rule a “day” shall mean a work day of twenty-four (24) consecutive hours beginning at the same time each calendar year. A “week” shall mean the work of 168 consecutive hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour work days, beginning at the same hour and on the same calendar day each calendar week.

SECTION 6. Regular working days. — The regular working days of covered employees shall not be more than five days in a work week. The work week may begin at any hour and on any day, including Saturday or Sunday, designated by the employer.

Employers are not precluded from changing the time at which the work day or work week begins, provided that the change is not intended to evade the requirements of this Rule.

SECTION 7. Overtime work. — Where the exigencies of the service so require as determined by the employer, any employee covered by this Rule may be scheduled to work for more than five (5) days or forty (40) hours a week, provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work an additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at least thirty percent (30%) thereof, subject to the provisions of this Book on the payment of additional compensation for work performed on special and regular holidays and on rest days.

SECTION 8. Hours worked. — In determining the compensable hours of work of hospital and clinic personnel covered by this Rule, the pertinent provisions of Rule 1 of this Book shall apply.

SECTION 9. Additional compensation. — Hospital and clinic personnel covered by this Rule, with the exception of those employed by the Government, shall be entitled to an additional compensation for work performed on regular and special holidays and rest days as provided in this Book. Such employees shall also be entitled to overtime pay for services rendered in excess of forty hours a week, or in excess of eight hours a day, whichever will yield the higher additional compensation to the employee in the work week.

SECTION 10. Relation to Rule I. — All provisions of Rule I of this Book which are not inconsistent with this Rule shall be deemed applicable to hospital and clinic personnel.

So the general rule is you can’t compel an employee to render overtime work except under the circumstances mentioned in Sec. 10 of Rule 1 of Book III of the Omnibus Rules. The rule is different with respect to hospital or clinic personnel. Under Sec. 7 of the above-mentioned Rule I-A these personnel may be scheduled to work overtime when the exigencies of the service so require. What these exigencies are is left to the determination of the employer. What is debatable is whether Rule I-A covers school clinics. I am not so sure it does.

A Romans 7 Poem

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:14-15)

Dark recesses,
Grave offenses,
Why, my heart is truly hell!
Will is helpless,
All seems hopeless,
God alone can make me well

Wash me whiter,
This my prayer;
Tho’ the devil holds me fast
Thou can sever
and deliver,
Give the victory at last!

O my Master,
Keep me ever;
Save me from this sinful mass.
Flesh will never
Be the victor
If Thy Spirit strengthen us.

Dead I reckon
Self – a lesson
Hard to learn, but learn I must.
Trust God’s reason;
Spirit, lead on!
Do Thou pardon – Thou the Just.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

Hymns CD

I recently bought Amy Grant’s Legacy, a collection of hymns set to modern arrangement. I have always loved the old hymns and I think the arrangements on this CD are a pleasing treat. You’ll understand what I mean when you listen to it. The music’s neither rocky nor stale but refreshingly something you can’t point your finger exactly to: is it celtic, country, pop? Copies are obtainable at “House of Praise” (which can usually be found in any Robinsons, SM and Gaisano Mall) or at Phlippine Christian Bookstore. Highly recommended!

Constructive Dismissal

When does transfer of an employee amount to constructive dismissal? Here’s the Supreme Court’s latest answer: Westmont Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. Vs. Ricardo C. Samaniego..G.R. Nos. 146653-54/G.R. Nos. 147407-08. February 20, 2006

Some excerpts:

“In constructive dismissal, the employer has the burden of proving that the transfer of an employee is for just and valid grounds, such as genuine business necessity. The employer must be able to show that the transfer is not unreasonable, inconvenient, or prejudicial to the employee. It must not involve a demotion in rank or a diminution of salary and other benefits. If the employer cannot overcome this burden of proof, the employee’s transfer shall be tantamount to unlawful constructive dismissal.

“Westmont and Unilab failed to discharge this burden. Samaniego was unceremoniously transferred from Isabela to Metro Manila. We hold that such transfer is economically and emotionally burdensome on his part. He was constrained to maintain two residences – one for himself in Metro Manila, and the other for his family in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Worse, immediately after his transfer to Metro Manila, he was placed “on floating status” and was demoted in rank, performing functions no longer supervisory in nature.

“There may also be constructive dismissal if an act of clear insensibility or disdain by an employer becomes so unbearable on the part of the employee that it could foreclose any choice by him except to forego his continued employment. This was what happened to Samaniego. Thus, he is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights, full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and other benefits or their monetary equivalent, computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement.

“However, the circumstances obtaining in this case do not warrant the reinstatement of Samaniego. Antagonism caused a severe strain in the relationship between him and his employer. A more equitable disposition would be an award of separation pay equivalent to at least one month pay, or one month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher (with a fraction of at least six [6] months being considered as one [1] whole year), in addition to his full backwages, allowances and other benefits.”

A Child of Light Walking in Darkness

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)


This message is meant to encourage Christians who are discouraged by their sins and their consequences – Christians who are ready to faint, as Hebrews 12 puts it, because of the divine discipline they are undergoing. An alternative outline: (1) the Person; (2) the Problem; (3) the Prescription.


A. He fears the Lord.

B. He obeys the voice of Jesus (cf. Rom. 1:5).

COMMENT: This does not describe the children of disobedience (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3). We are now children of light because God has changed us (II Cor. 5:17; Jer. 32:40; Ezek. 36:25-27).


A. He sometimes walks in darkness: discouragement under discipline for sin.

B. He has no light, no comfort or assurance of God’s favor.

SEE: Micah 7:8.9; Lam. 3:1-18; Ps. 88:6-7; Ps. 32:3-4; Ps. 38:1-10

COMMENT: (1) It is still possible for a Christian to sin (1 John 1:8, 10; Rom. 7:22-25). (2) God will discipline his children when they sin (2 Sam. 7:14).


A. He must trust in the name of the Lord, i.e., in the merciful character of God (Exo. 33:19; 34:5-9; Rom. 3:21-26)

B. He must rely on his God; i.e., in the matchless commitment of God (Isa. 50:8-9; Rom. 8:31-33, 38-39, 28-30; Jer. 31:3, 18-20)


Although we ought to be humbled by our sins, we ought not to be discouraged by them for our Savior is committed and able to save us from the penalty, the power and even the presence of sin (cf., Matt. 1:21; Phil. 1:6). And we ought not to faint under God’s discipline; he is eternally and unchangeably committed to our good (Jer. 32:41)

Bible Translations

I read somewhere (on another blog) that when Billy Graham was asked, “What is the best Bible translation?” he answered, “The one you read.” Good answer!

I’m presently using the English Standard Version. I grew up reading the KJV; later on I used the NKJV; then the NIV. Many of the verses I memorized, however, are from the KJV. I like the smooth, contemporary English of the NIV, but I miss the traditional theological terms I grew up with such as “propitiation”, which the NIV translates as “atoning sacrifice” in 1 John 2:2, for example. The NKJV, on the other hand, “eliminated the best feature of the KJV (its marvelous expression of the English language) and kept the worst (its flawed text),” according to Fee and Stuart in their book How to Read the Bible for All its Worth (p. 40 in the 3rd edition). The NASB, as many have observed, sticks too closely to the form of the Greek, resulting in wooden and stilted English.

The ESV reminds me of the NKJV but with the advantage of a better textual basis. John Piper’s article on the ESV also influenced me in making the change.

Those who would like to explore the possibility of using the ESV as their main Bible translation might also want to read what Leland Ryken has to say in his book, The Word of God in English.

As far as the issue of gender-neutral translations is concerned I don’t think we Filipinos will be bothered much by it. We have the gender-neutral third person pronoun “siya” which is used in referring to both men and women, whereas English only has “he” and “she”. English for us is just our second language although many of us prefer to use an English translation of the Bible because most of us are trained to read, write and speak in English in school. At any rate, it seems to me that politically correct English is not yet the “in” thing here in the Philippines.

The ESV I think is as good as you can get. On the negative side, however, some might find the ESV’s English a bit outdated with its O’s (e.g., “O Lord”) and archaic constructions (e.g., “Rejoice not”). In that case you might want to use the Holman Christian Standard Bible instead.

1 Cor 13

Last Sunday I preached on 1 Cor. 13. Here’s the outline.


(I COR. 13:1-3; 13)

Introduction: Who is the greatest? Luke 22:24. This is a question that Christians, whatever the motive, frequently ask. And it seems that in the church at Corinth during Paul’s time it was being asked but not with pure motives. The motives seemed to be pride and envy. People were proud of their spiritual gifts or envied those who were more gifted than they were. There was also division and discrimination. The question is timely because these problems can also be found in today’s churches.

I. Four Kinds of Gifted People Who Could Lay Claim to Being the Greatest.

A. The Speaker

  • The great speaker is able to captivate audiences and to sway them where he pleases. He can make them laugh, cry, change their mind, etc.
  • But when our unloving lives contradict our fine speech our words no longer convince. They become mere noise: just like a resounding gong, a clanging cymbal – empty praise. Our tongues, just like these instruments were meant to praise God (Ps. 150:5) but the sounds they produce are mere noise in God’s ears without love (James 3:9, 10).
  • Impressive speech and wonderful oratory is not everything, definitely not the main thing in preaching (I Cor. 1:17; 2:1, 4, 5).
  • One other thing: the Bible tells us to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The truth can be spoken in a harsh, insensitive and cruel manner. Truth spoken without love serves only to destroy. The tragedy is we are often guilty of this. Of course we are to rebuke and to warn and even to constructively criticize when the occasion calls for it, but we often do so with delight in the fall of others and with secret joy in our moral and spiritual superiority over others! Many of us are repeating the same mistake of the Pharisees of old. Yes, rebuke all you want, but you must earn the right to do so. You must do so with tears in your eyes and with brokenness of heart and gentleness of spirit (Gal. 6:1). We are often so self-righteous and unloving in our condemnation of others, caring only about our having spoken the truth, but heedless of the fact that in speaking the truth without love we have all the more pushed a brother down instead of helping him rise up to his feet. How different was the spirit of our Lord! In the case of the woman caught in adultery he above all others had the right to judge. Instead he said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Lord, help us to speak the truth in love. And if there be no love in our hearts to accompany the truth, help us rather to be silent.”

B. The Thinker

  • These are the people who impress us with their intelligence, their brilliance, their deep insights, their extensive knowledge and their academic credentials. And we are duly impressed! We often take this into account when choosing a guest speaker for special occasions in our churches or when enrolling in a subject in seminary. We want to know whether the teacher is academically qualified.
  • There is nothing wrong with knowledge and academic credentials per se. In fact the Bible encourages to get all the knowledge and wisdom we can (Prov. 4: 7). The knowledge you have and share with others can bless people’s lives. Great and knowledgeable theologians like Luther and Calvin have been a great blessing to the church. The problem, however, is knowledge without love leads merely to pride (I Cor. 8:1). It can happen that the knowledgeable person is interested only in displaying his knowledge and not at all in the spiritual welfare of his listeners. He cares only about attracting attention to himself and not about leading them to God. In that case, he is truly nothing.

C. The Believer/Achiever:

  • Then we have the person gifted with great faith and daring optimism. He is not easily discouraged by difficulties. He dares to act against impossible odds. By his faith he is able to move mountains, so to speak (Mark 11:23). We owe a lot to this kind of people. They often inspire us to do what we would not ordinarily attempt without their prodding. They are often great leaders and organizers. By their faith and inspiration we are encouraged to go ahead with the church building project even though we do not know where the funds will come from.
  • The problem however is it is possible to attempt all these great things without love – merely for self-aggrandizement or for the mere sake of getting things done and it turns out to be empty in the end (Ecc. 2:11).
  • By way of contrast, Paul’s joy was not so much in his great accomplishments but in people whom he loved (I Thess 2:19, 20). This is something ministers should take to heart. The ministry is not about building an empire for ourselves; it’s about loving God and loving people.

D. The Giver

  • Finally we have the person who is willing to give up everything for the sake of the ministry. He is willing to give not only money but also his very life for the God’s work. These are the people who turn out to be missionaries, hard workers and self-sacrificing laborers in the church and in the mission field because they have a phenomenal capacity for self-sacrifice.
  • Nevertheless, without love it is all for nothing.
  • But why is this so? Is not giving and sacrifice proof of love? (c.f., John 3:16). Not necessarily. One can give all he has yet do so without love.
  • This was the problem in the Church of Ephesus in Rev. 2 (see verses 3-5). They had great endurance. They were orthodox in doctrine. But they had lost their first love. It is significant that in spite of their endurance the Lord was willing to take away their lamp stand – to do away with their church – unless they repented.
  • It’s just like a marriage relationship. There can come a time in a marriage when what used to be sincere expressions of affection become nothing more than dry routine. Yes, the external acts are still in place but something essential is missing. In the same way, you can faithfully go through all the motions of serving God – reading your Bible everyday, giving your tithes and offerings, attending Sunday School, prayer meeting and worship services, singing in the choir and witnessing – but if you do all these merely out of force of habit, merely out of a sense of duty, merely out of fear of your pastor and concern for your spiritual reputation, instead of out of genuine affection for God, would God be pleased? It’s not the number of flowers I give my wife on Valentine’s Day that counts, what counts is that she knows that I love her.

II. So Who is the Greatest?

  • The one who loves.
  • Why? Because God looks at the heart. People tend to look at the outward appearance, but what counts with God is not so much what we say or what we do but what goes on in our hearts (I Sam 16:7)
  • Why? Because love and humility go together. The loving person is the person who thinks of others as better than himself. (Phil. 2:3-4) Therefore the loving person is the humble person. And the humble person is the person God delights to honor. (Isa. 66:2)
  • Why? Because when we love we reflect God’s own character. Man was made in God’s image. God, however, is love (I John 4:8; John 3:16). Therefore when we love we are reflecting God’s character; we are shining forth God’s image. And when we do this we are glorifying God. So love is the greatest because love glorifies God who is the greatest. God, who is the greatest, is delighted to see his own character reflected in the lives of his children. The person who speaks well, who thinks brilliantly, who achieves great things and gives lavishly, but does so without love, ultimately cares only about himself. But he who loves cares about others and above all cares about God. The person who loves God as well as loves people who are actually created in the image of God glorifies and honors God as the One who is most valuable in the universe. Therefore love is the greatest because love glorifies God who is the greatest.