A year after President Rodrigo Duterte promised to stamp out contractualization, only 60,000 of the more than 2 million known contractual employees have been regularized, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment said on Tuesday.
Joel Maglungsod, undersecretary for labor relations and a former representative of Anakpawis party list, blamed the low conversion to the “tedious and slow” process for regularization, saying there are 630,000 contracting agencies but only 230 labor inspectors.
Contractualization is also known as “endo”, short for “end of contract” in which an employee is hired for five months and is either terminated or signed into a new contract for another five months depending on the employer.
Under labor laws, a worker who stays in the company for six months automatically becomes a regular or is recommended for regularization by his or her employer.
Maglungsod said that among the big companies that have complied was Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT).
“For example, at PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone) last week we finally regularized 9,120 contractual employees. That is out of 64,000 contractual workers,” Maglunsod told a forum in Manila.
There are 937,000 business establishments that employ two million contractual workers.
“As of now, we have a total of 536 labor inspectors which is not enough. We asked the Department of Budget and Management for an additional 200, but it will take time also to have it approved. For the meantime, 36 were approved,” he said.
“We are pushing for the accreditation of labor union workers as deputized labor inspectors to fast-track the regularization process,” he added.
Asked if contractual workers in malls have been given attention, Maglunsod said malls, fast food chains, factories, and manufacturing companies would be next on the list.
Maglunsod said there were companies that practice ‘in-house’ contractors like PAL (Philippine Airlines) Express, MicroAsia, and Skylogistics, among others, which is against Department Order 174.
“We sent labor inspectors to investigate, we hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” he said.