THE controversial Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) new guidelines on work contracting may not be officially released before the year ends as promised amid a strong objection being mounted by organized labor groups that describe the guidelines as anti-labor.
Department Order (DO) 30, it was learned, was submitted on Wednesday noon by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval.
DO 30, if approved by the President, will replace DO 18-A.
The guidelines set the scope of implementation of Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as amended.
They state, among others, that contracting and sub-contracting arrangements are expressly allowed by law subject to regulations.
The rules apply to all parties of contracting and sub-contracting arrangements where employer-employee relations exist.
After DO 30 was submitted to Malacañang, organized labor groups led by the Association of Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) called on President Rodrigo Duterte to reject the new policy, saying it was a bastardized version of the real intent of what then-candidate Duterte promised during the presidential campaign.
“It is not what the President had promised. The new DO will perpetuate and further expand the practice of contractualization in the country,” ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said in a text message to The Manila Times.
“The ALU-TUCP is appealing to the President to order Secretary Bello to amend or revise the DO in accordance with what he [Duterte] had promised, which is to put a stop all forms of contractualization in the country,” Tanjusay added.
He said Bello was echoing the position of a big employers’ group, which he said was directly opposite to the President’s policy pronouncement to ban contractual work arrangements.
The labor sector is confident that the President would reject the DO, according to Tanjusay.
“The President has the option to reject or disapprove it,” he said.
Bello maintained though that the workers’ demand could not be met as there are forms of work contracting that are allowed by existing laws.
“We are not saying we are promoting contactualization. What we are saying is total ban [on contractualization]is not really viable because under existing laws, there are contractual relations which are allowed,” he said.
Started in 1989, contractualization or endo (end of contract) or “555” or contractualized work is a work scheme whereby workers are hired by principal employer through a contract forged with manpower service providers and contractors to meet added production demand.
After five months or less, however, contractualized workers’ contracts are terminated and renewed for employers to avoid payment of mandated minimum wage, payment of social and health insurance benefits, leave credits and other wages and benefits regular employees receive.