DOLE: Nearly 5K workers in CV up for regularization
RATED A - Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - November 12, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some 5,000 contractual workers in Central Visayas are subject for regularization, a labor official said yesterday, amid the current drive against the end-of-contract scheme or labor contractualization. 

Department of Labor and Employment Regional Head Exequiel Sarcauga said there are over 2,000 workers set to be regularized after their employers vowed to voluntarily comply with the administration's mandate to stop contractualization.

"That is based on our initial assessment," he told The FREEMAN in an interview.

He added that there are also another over 2,000 workers under the mandatory conferences to be done by the labor agency.

DOLE has adopted two tracks in eliminating illegitimate contractualization, including labor-only contracting and ‘endo’.

In the first track, the DOLE regional offices conducted series of consultations and meetings to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers who are under ‘endo’ and labor-only contracting arrangements.

For the second track, labor laws compliance officers (LLCOs) inspected establishments, principals, and contractors which are practicing ‘endo’ and labor-only contracting arrangements. Those found to be engaged in labor-only contracting are subjected to mandatory conferences to assist them in their compliance with labor standards.

The marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte is to reduce 50 percent of contractualization in the workforce by the end of this year.

The administration also targets to end another 50 percent of contractualization practices by end of 2017.

Workers under “endo” or end of contract receive less than the mandated minimum wage without social protection benefits such as Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth.

Under bilateral arrangement or endo, an employer directly hires an employee on fixed but short-term contract that automatically ends before the 6th month without security of tenure, monetary and social protection benefits.

While labor-only contracting happens when a contractor merely recruits and controls workers to perform a job without substantial capital or investments.

The labor agency has a three-pronged action plan on putting a stop to abusive employment arrangements.

Included in the three-pronged action plan is the strict enforcement of labor laws through inspection, joint assessment, and compliance visit; policy review of the existing Implementing Rules and Regulations, particularly on contracting and subcontracting; and amendment of the Labor Code provisions on contracting and subcontracting and security of tenure.

While labor-only contracting happens when a contractor merely recruits and controls workers to perform a job without substantial capital or investments.

Endo, a colloquial term for end of contract, is a scheme that circumvents the law by hiring workers for less than six months to avoid having to regularize them. (FREEMAN)

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