More than 10,000 workers regularized by 92 firms in Central Luzon—DOLE
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Some 10,212 workers were voluntarily regularized by 92 establishments from different parts of Central Luzon after undergoing series of consultations and assessments by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said the regional office took less than 6 months to achieve this scorecard in reducing illegal contractualization, ‘endo,’ and labor-only contracting (LOC).
“We continue to rise to the challenges set by our Labor Secretary as part of the DOLE’s priority commitments to President Rodrigo Duterte to reduce illegal forms of contractualization, ‘endo,’ labor-only contracting, and other similar work arrangements by 50 percent this year and abolishing it entirely by next year,” Dione said.
The regional office, early August, targeted 235 firms all over the region to undergo consultation and assessment to determine the existence of contractualization, ‘endo’, and LOC practices at their workplaces.
Of the total target, at least half or around 118 firms or principals subjected for the said consultation and assessment had to be achieved by the end of the year.
The remaining half of the said target shall be completed within the first semester of the following year.
Dione reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that the 92 complying establishments are part of 268 firms that already undergone consultation and assessment with the DOLE this year alone.
“We have surpassed our target firms subjected for consultation and assessment this year because we have seized every forum, organized and or invited, to intensify our information campaign in urging establishments operating in the region to regularize their workers in consonance with our goal to halt contractualization, ‘endo,’ and LOC in all forms,” Dione explained, adding:
“We likewise capacitated and dispatched our labor laws compliance officers (LLCOs), including some technical inspectors, in determining these forms of illegal work arrangements and how they could help firms voluntarily comply, not only in general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, but more importantly in adopting allowable employment arrangements and thereafter regularizing workers.”
Various leading industries operating inside and outside of the region’s Freeport and Economic zones were covered under the DOLE’s region wide consultations and assessments.
Dione reported to Bello that the regional office and its field offices have adopted two strategies in its pursuit to eliminate illegitimate contractualization, ‘endo’ and LOC.
First, the DOLE regional/field offices held consultations with firms of various industries and encouraged them to voluntarily regularize their workers who are under the above-mentioned work arrangements.
Second, some 21 LLCOs conducted assessments to establishments, principals, and contractors in determining which among them are practicing prohibited working arrangements leading to illegal contractualization, ‘endo,’ and LOC.
Those firms found to be engaging in labor-only contracting and similar forms of work arrangements were subjected to mandatory conferences and were assisted in complying with GLS and OSH standards.
Initially, at least around 2,500 workers voluntarily regularized by 20 firms after the regional/field offices held 22 consultations attended by 1,444 company representatives from 648 establishments/principals/contractors region wide.
Dione noted that all participating establishments to the said consultations have undergone the usual joint-assessment with the LLCOs.
Of the 10,212 regularized workers Dione reported to Bello, 3,939 of them were voluntarily regularized by 54 firms upon assessment visit by the LLCOs at plant-level.
The remaining 6,580 workers, on the other hand, were voluntarily regularized through conferences at the Technical Support and Services Division for Labor Relations and Labor Standards of the regional office.
It was also noted in Dione’s report that of the total workers regularized, around 956 workers in 31 companies engaging bi-lateral work arrangements, were voluntarily regularized.
Dione, who thanked all establishments for their support and cooperation in an interview with local media, urged for more firms to follow suit in regularizing their workers.
“We would like to express our warmest thank you to our partners from the private sector in heeding our call to regularize their workers. Security of tenure is very important to our workers, and if they feel that sense of belongingness in your companies, they will be more productive, and this in turn will be very good for business,” Dione said, adding:
“We are hoping that other establishments, which have yet to be consulted and assessed, will also realize the benefits of regularizing the their workers, necessary in their day to day operations, to be regularized as well.”
END/Jerry Borja/Ailyn Taruc/April Rein Dalina