DOLE sets ‘validated’ list of regularized workers amid doubts

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now coming up with a “validated” list of regularized workers, amid a clamor from labor groups for it to release concrete proof of its campaign against contractualization.

In an ambush interview on Wednesday, Labor Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod said they have issued a new memo to their regional offices to submit the names of workers who have been regularized as a result of their anti-illegal contractualization campaign.

“Our inspectors will return  [to the inspected companies] to validate if the regularization orders were implemented,”  Maglunsod said.

He said they will include this in the new list of their inspected companies engaged or suspected of practicing illegal contractualization, which they will submit to Malacañang by next month.

The new list, Maglunsod said, may not be released to the public since it is an “internal” request from Malacañang.

It will include their inspections of locators within economic zones, which are currently among tbe DOLE’s priority sector for its anti-illegal contractualization campaign.

“This is in line with the research of the Philippine Statistics Authority that many violations in contracting and subcontracting [regulations] are in the manufacturing sector. Some of the manufacturing firms are locators of the Peza [Philippine Economic Zone Authority],” Maglunsod said.

Presidential instructions

The labor official said Malacañang is closely monitoring the updates of their drive on contractualization.

“Last night [June 24], we got a new notice from the President for us to submit by regions the copy of our list. So we submitted the said list,” Maglunsod said.

On Monday labor groups slammed President Duterte for citing in his third State of the Nation Address (Sona) the regularization of over 300,000 workers during his term. Labor leaders doubted the veracity of the pronouncement until the government releases the names of the regularized workers and the establishments where they were regularized.

They also speculated that some of the concerned workers were regularized in their contracting agencies rather than their principals.

Maglunsod belied these allegations, stressing that workers covered by their regularization order will soon be, or are already, employed by their principals.

As of last week, the DOLE reported it was able to regularize 321,964 workers since it started going after companies engaged in illegal contractualization in 2016.

Maglunsod, however, admitted these figures indeed include projections, since they are based on the number of workers who are actually covered by their regularization orders. “Some [of the companies] have yet to comply. That is why we will validate,” Maglunsod said.

 

 

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A reporter who covers the labor beat for the BusinessMirror. He graduated with a journalism degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 2009.

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