PLDT, PAL: We will comply with labor laws

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CORPORATE giants Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) and sister company PAL Express (Palex) on Thursday assured the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) of full compliance with existing labor laws and regulations in light of results of investigation that they were among the top violators of labor laws.

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The firms made the assurance in reaction to a story published also on Thursday in The Manila Times entitled “PLDT, PAL biggest ‘violators’ of labor laws.”

But the PLDT, through Corporate Secretary Ma. Lourdes Rausa-Chan, clarified that it has not received any order from the DoLE, other than document requests in relation to an ongoing audit by the DoLE of PLDT’s compliance with labor standards, occupational health and safety and engagement of third-party service contractors.

“The company and its contractors continue to submit documents requested by the DoLE as part of this ongoing audit. PLDT will continue to fully cooperate with the DoLE in connection with the ongoing audit process. PLDT is committed to fully comply with all existing labor laws and regulations,” Chan said.

PAL, on the other hand, made the following clarification: “The Department of Labor and Employment has sent Philippine Airlines the results of its initial Special Assessment Visit of Establishments or SAVE covering four stations – Bacolod, Dumaguete, Davao and Zamboanga, citing so-called violations of labor standards [underpayment of wages, overtime pay and underpayment of service incentive leave]. These findings were sent to PAL only last April 17 after DoLE conducted station audits from April 7 to 11, 2017.

“Philippine Airlines would like to clarify that these ‘noted’ infractions/violations were in reference to alleged acts committed by service providers of PAL and PAL Express stations. PAL Group Management and Palex shall exhaust all means to ensure compliance [with]general labor standards, labor laws and industry standard practices. Such adherence to labor guidelines will ensure work quality, productivity and high service levels. Management is currently carrying out a verification process on the labor-related allegations committed by some service providers and has instructed all relevant Domestic Station Operations heads to validate these DoLE findings. If and when these infractions are validated, PAL will require said service-providers to comply within a specified period as provided by DOoLE rules and require submission of respective proof of compliance. As we strive to sustain safety and service as the cornerstone of PAL operations, we welcome the conduct of such SAVE assessments from the Labor department as these ensure a check and balance mechanism, which will ultimately redound to the benefit of PAL and its passengers.”

Earlier, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd disclosed that PLDT, PAL and Palex were among the big companies that have been   subjected to SAVE, DOLE’s mechanism to assess, validate and verify compliance with labor laws and their contractors/sub-contractors.

According to Bello, the corporate giants were found violating the law against illegal work contracting and sub-contracting,

Bello said violations were found on PLDT, mostly among its sub-contractors and majority of which are not even registered or with expired registration.

“I will order the regularization of close to 10,000 workers under contracting and sub-contracting arrangements but are performing jobs that are directly related to PLDT’s business,” he told a news briefing, warning that if PLDT fails to comply “we will close them.”

“Imagine PLDT, one of the biggest companies in our country contracting out with unregistered service providers,” Bello said. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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