Workers reject guidelines on work contracting

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Organized labor groups have rejected the new guidelines on work contracting drafted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

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The department submitted a copy of the draft guidelines to the labor sector for its comment but failed to get a passing mark.

“Mas malala ito [this is worse]than the previous version which was submitted by Secretary [Silvestre] Bello to Malacañang last December for the President’s approval,” Association of Labor Unions (ALU) spokesman Alan Tanjusay told The Manila Times on Tuesday.

According to Tanjusay, the new version was tailor-made for the employers’ sector because “it allows all forms of contractualization.”

“Super sama [bad]. It expanded the coverage of endo (end of contract) scheme and 555, including seasonal and project-based contracting. Lahat pwede [Everything is allowed),” he added.

Under the previous draft, labor contractors are required a P5 million capitalization so that workers can get something in case of a labor problem. In the new draft, the capitalization requirement was scrapped.

The previous draft also defines direct and indirect jobs for contractual and regular workers while the new version is silent about it.

The old version also mandates DOLE regional directors to determine and decide violations of contractualization, while the new draft eliminated the role of DOLE regional directors.

“The previous draft protects (the) rights of employees. This new draft protects the rights of labor contractors and principal employers,” Tanjusay pointed out.

The previous draft was rejected by President Rodrigo Duterte, prompting the Labor department to come out with a new version.

Ending contractualization was one of Duterte’s campaign promises.

WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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