Employers turn hopeful on contractualization rules

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Employers are keeping their fingers crossed that the new labor department order (DO) on contractualization will not worsen the current unemployment situation in the country as they try to live with more restrictive rules.

“The DO remains a concern for us employers. Anything you make difficult for subcontracting will result in job losses, no doubt about it,” Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. told The STAR yesterday.

ECOP met with representatives of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) last Friday as the group sought the agency’s help in clarifying among its members the provisions of DO 174 signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III last March 16.

Ortiz-Luis said raising ECOP’s concerns about the new DO was not the main objective of the meeting, noting the group has been clear in voicing out its position since the day DO 174 was signed.  

“The symposium was more or less to explain to the attendees the peculiarities of the DO, how to interpret it and the proper way to interpret it in order for companies to know its peculiarities so that they know if they are violating it or not,” Ortiz-Luis said.

The ECOP official said DOLE’s new DO has initially brought about a lot of questions and confusion among employers.

He said employers are still in the process of “trying to make sense with it.”

 “We are still not okay but we are just trying to live with it. Rather than hanging with uncertainty, we will just live with it and hope that it (unemployment situation) does not get worse,” Ortiz-Luis said.

 “Well at least now, we are not left hanging on what will come out and what will not. At least now we know,” he added.

  ECOP earlier said it is gearing up to comply with DOLE’s new order, which allows legal contractualization while restricting the so-called “endo” or end-of-contract practices, but noted employers need to fully understand the provisions of the order first to ensure full compliance and guarantee that company interpretations of the DO 174 coincide with that of the DOLE.


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