Bill filed in Senate to protect interns from exploitation

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2019 03:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 10 2019 04:05 PM

MANILA - A senator has filed a bill that seeks to protect interns from abuse and other "horror stories."

Schools’ vetting process for “host training establishments” will be strengthened to ensure that students “do not undergo internship in companies with dubious internship programs,” according to Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ Senate Bill No. 994.

“Internship is for students and young people to learn more about the workplace and to deepen their craft. Internship is not an excuse for employers to take advantage of cheap or free labor,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“Dahil walang employer-employee relationship, maraming nagiging kaso ng exploitation at kawalan ng professional growth.”

(Because there is no employer-employee relationship, many are exploited and do not experience professional growth.)

Under Hontiveros’ bill, the host training establishment will be required to come up with a contract and program that details the training of interns.

The bill also puts a cap on internship hours.

For the government sector, internship should not exceed 300 hours, nor last for more than 6 months. For industry-based internships, internship hours are capped at 660 hours per semester, which is equivalent to 15 units per term.

The measure also protects all interns from any form of workplace abuse and harassment.

It also seeks to provide basic benefits and remuneration to interns, appropriate funds for government agencies to host interns “in order to promote public and civil service among young people,” and establish a grievance mechanism to address any violation of basic interns’ rights.

“Preparing our young people for the workforce includes a viable internship program that centers on their professional growth”, Hontiveros said.