CEBU, Philippines – Despite moves to end or ban contract scheme in the country, the regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas said labor contractualization will continue unless the law is amended.
DOLE-7 Director Elias Cayanong said the Labor Code of the Philippines should be amended and the provision allowing contractualization be repealed to really put an end to contractual labor.
“For contractualization to be totally scrapped, it needs legislation. The DOLE does not have the power to wipe it out. Until and unless it is being provided for in the Labor Code, then contractualization is here to stay,” he said in the recently –concluded Department Order 174-17 orientation for contractors, sub-contractors, and service providers.
D.O. 174-17 is a measure employed by the DOLE to regulate contractualization and to end labor-only contracting and other abusive forms of employment practices.
“We want to clarify, though, that the D.O. does not cover the workers being hired directly or those under the bilateral type of employment arrangement. What the Department seeks to stop in bilateral employment arrangement is the so-called ENDO or the 555, 333, 444, and so on,” Cayanong said in a press statement.
The DOLE, being the implementing arm of government, Cayanong said, can only regulate contractualization by making sure that the workers are engaged in “legitimate or permissible contracting and subcontracting arrangements.”
Aside from the discussion of the salient features of D.O. 174-17 and the requirements for registration, also highlighted was the move of DOLE-7 to conduct inspection among establishments prior to registration.
Vicente Abordo, chief of the Technical Support Services Division-Labor Relations and Standards (TSSD-LRS), said the DOLE-7 wants to deviate from the usual course of action done by most DOLE regional offices in so far as D.O. 174 registration is concerned, which is to register applicant-service providers and then do verification inspection after.
Abordo said the conduct of inspection before registration is a way of protecting the service providers, which will help them not to spend time and resources unnecessarily.
The agency can accept applications for registration and accord them with the certificate, but if it will be found out later on that the service provider is unqualified, its registration will be cancelled and payment will not be returned.
Under D.O. 174-17, applicants will have to pay P100,000 for registration and renewal, increasing from the usual P25,000.
The substantial capital requirement, on the other hand, has also been raised to P5 million from P3 million. —/KBQ (FREEMAN)