DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said the regional office took less than six 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.
In August this year, DOLE Central Luzon 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 2017.
Dione reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III that the 92 complying establishments are part of 268 firms that already undergone consultation and assessment with the DOLE this year.
“We have surpassed our target firms subjected for consultation and assessment because we have seized in every forum to intensify our information campaign by urging establishments operating in the region to regularize their workers in consonance with our goal to stop contractualization, ‘endo,’ and LOC in all forms,” Dione explained.
DOLE Regional Office No. 3 also trained and dispatched its labor laws compliance officers (LLCOs), including some of its technical inspectors, on how to determine 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 bilateral work arrangements, were voluntarily regularized.
Dione thanked all establishments for their support and cooperation and urged other firms to follow suit in regularizing their workers.
“We thank 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 belonging in your companies, they will be more productive, and this in turn will be very good for business,” Dione said.
END/Jerry Borja/Ailyn Taruc/April Rein Dalina