Getting to Know the Chairperson
Atty. Teresita R. Manzala has a wide span of public service experience having served, for almost three decades, the various publics of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) including the overseas Filipino workers.
Immediately before her appointment as PRC Chairperson, she served as the OWWA Deputy Administrator for Reintegration Services and Center Director of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO). Prior to this twin designation, Atty. Manzala occupied various senior positions at the DOLE. She has been a Director of two important and critical Bureaus, a Regional Director of five large Regional Offices, and Labor Attaché in two Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs).
As the Director of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), she was responsible for the development of the Phil-JobNet and the Computerized National Manpower Register of Skills as well as the formulation of Regional Employment Plans. She was also responsible in the formulation of such important policy issuances as the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the PESO Act of 2000, Omnibus Guidelines on the Issuance of Alien Employment Permits and Manual of Operations, Revised Guidelines on the Recruitment and Placement of Workers for Local Employment by Private Recruitment and Placement Agencies, among others.
During her stint at the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC), Atty. Manzala can be credited for the development and issuance of the Labor Standards Enforcement Framework and its Accompanying Manuals. As Regional Director of DOLE Regional Offices I, II, III, VI and CAR, she implemented various employment and social protection programs for Filipino workers, chaired the Regional Wages and Productivity Board, and enforced labor standards.
Under her stewardship as its Labor Attaché, POLO-Rome (Italy) was able to formulate a project proposal for the Reintegration of Undocumented OFWs in Italy, which was funded by the Government of Italy in coordination with the International Organization for Migration. While in POLO-Tel-Aviv (Israel), Atty. Manzala developed a Handbook on Critical Incident Debriefing, Stress Management, Counseling and Case Management for OFWs in Israel as an offshoot of the Israel-Lebanon (Hezbollah) War. In both overseas Posts, she was responsible for the resolution of numerous welfare cases involving OFWs, in verification of job orders and employment contracts for OFWs, and in negotiations with host countries on matters of OFW protection and advancement.
In addition, Atty. Manzala also served as negotiator for the DOLE in various trade negotiations. She headed the Philippine Negotiating Group on Movement of Natural Persons under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) as well as the Philippine Negotiating Group on Movement of Natural Persons under the ASEAN-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. She was also a member of the Philippine Delegation in the RP-Israel Social Security Negotiations and the Philippine Negotiation Team on ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Services.
On top of these, she also represented the country in numerous international or regional conferences/fora on various areas of concern (e.g., employment, productivity, labor standards, international labor migration, migrant reintegration, etc.) either as delegate, government adviser or resource speaker.
She also taught international labor laws, and employment and working conditions at the Graduate School of Business and Economics of the Dela Salle University Manila and its Extension Class in fort Bonifacio in its Master of Science in Industrial Relations Management.
Atty. Manzala holds two baccalaureate degrees--Bachelor of Laws from Saint Louis University of Baguio City and AB Political Science from University of the Philippines Diliman--and a masteral degree in Public Administration from the UP College of Public Administration. She also completed non-degree/fellowship programs on Occupational Health and Safety (Swedish Institute, University of Aston in Birmingham); Women in the Workplace (US Department of Labor, Florida International University); and Negotiating Skills/Disciplines in WTO (Under World Bank, WTO and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore).