After a nine-month dialogue, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III has signed on Thursday the Department Order # 174 Series of 2017 or the DOLE order on contracting and subcontracting.
This, after a series of dialogues with labor groups and employers across the country on the creation of a new policy on contractualization or endo.
But the labor groups argue that the new order will only regulate and not prohibit contractualization. Thus, it will not provide solution on labor issues caused by the endo scheme.
“We’ll try to seek audience again with the President and tell him this is not your campaign promise, this is not your instruction. Why the goal of the leadership of the present administration of department of labor contradicting or contravening the instructions made by the President,” PALEA President Gerry Rivera said.
The labor secretary, on the other hand, clarifies that he has no power to totally prohibit all forms of contractualization and fixed term employment since only congress has the authority to do so by amending existing laws.
‘Under the law I can regulate contractual and subcontractual arrangements but I can also prohibit labor only contracting but the legitimate contracting and subcontracting I cannot prohibit that is for Congress to prohibit… even though the president wants it to end, the problem is there are existing laws which allows certain forms of contractual arrangements,” said DOLE Secretary Bello III.
Bello says the regulations stated in the order is in accordance to the President’s directives when it comes to the employment of Filipino workers.
“When the President said he doesn’t like endo or contractualization what he was referring to is the illegal and unlawful contractual arrangement. So, it is still in line with the President’s marching order,” Secretary Bello III added.
Among the prohibitions under the new DOLE order are: labor- only contracting; contracting out of job or work through an in- house agency; repeated hiring by the contractor/ subcontractor of employees under an employment contract of short duration or the hiring of worker for only a short period of time.
DOLE will immediately implement the said order and vows to intensify inspections of companies and business establishments across to the country to ensure that the rights and benefits of workers are not being violated.
“The number is close to 630,000 plus the workers not included here. 1.3 million non-regular workers under the bilateral arrangement… this may reach close to two million workers in the event of the full implementation of this new department order,” labor undersecretary Maglunsod said. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue