LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello has ordered a review of all existing policies on labor contacting and subcontacting and all other related issuances as the department moves to put a stop to the illegal practice of contractualization.
In a memorandum, Bello instructed all regional directors of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), including the directors of the Working Conditions, Local Employment, Labor Relations, and Workers with Special Concerns bureaus; Legal Service; National Labor Relations Commission; National Conciliation and Mediation Board; and National Wages and Productivity Commission, to join a workshop on July 18-19 to review policies and legal framework and assess contracting and sub-contracting practices in industries.
“I have also tasked the Bureau of Labor Relations and the Legal Service to prepare an inventory of all laws, rules and regulations, issuances and jurisprudence, including pending bills on contracting and subcontracting, and come up with recommended solutions or causes of action to remedy violations identified,” Bello said.
“This is our continuing effort to address the issue of contractualization pursuant to President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s directive to afford full protection to contractual workers and ensure that their rights are upheld,” he added.
Bello said the use of short-term employment contracts, whether through direct hiring by employers or through contracting out, which is contrary to provisions of Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as amended, or are in circumvention of Article 249, are not allowed.
He also ordered all DOLE regional directors to strictly implement the labor law compliance system, and as well as the Bureau of Working Conditions to prepare a profile of contractors and subcontractors based on results or findings of labor law compliance officers.
“This will enable us to come up with a reliable and credible background of contracting and subcontracting in the country,” Bello said.
He enjoined the regional directors to list down problems and constraints encountered in the enforcement of labor laws and social legislation.
The regional directors were also told to submit the profile of contracting and subcontracting arrangements in their respective jurisdictions.
Labor Undersecretary for Social Protection Ciriaco Lagunzad 3rd has been designated overseer of all contractualization-related issues.
“We have to ensure that all contracting and subcontracting arrangements and practices nationwide are in compliance with Articles 106 to 109 and 294 of the Labor Code, as amended, and existing rules and regulations and those that may be adopted and issued in the future,” Bello said.
He has issued Administrative Order 405 creating a technical working group, headed by Lagunzad and Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod, to develop and monitor an action plan on addressing contractualization.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL