Over 2K workers regularized in E. Visayas

By Sarwell Meniano

May 2, 2018, 1:21 pm

TACLOBAN CITY -- At least 2,093 workers in Eastern Visayas have been regularized from January to mid-April this year as the central government steps up drive to end labor-only contracting or “endo”, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here reported Wednesday.

Of the number, 1,677 benefitted from the campaign when their employers voluntarily complied with the directive to stop “endo”.

Some 414 workers attained regular employment status after labor inspection activities.

DOLE Regional Director Cyril Ticao said over a thousand of these workers were given permanent employment status by the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation, the country’s largest copper smelter based in Isabel, Leyte.

“We have been inspecting shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, food chains, gas stations, manufacturing, construction, transport, and fishing industry since these are the establishment vulnerable to labor-only contracting,” Ticao told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

The regional office has only 20 labor inspectors tasked to check the compliance of thousands of business establishments in the region’s six provinces.

The signing of an executive order prohibiting “endo” by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday is a big help in achieving their target of 9,000 workers to be regularized this year.

The inspection from January to April 19 has covered 53 establishments. This was pushed after conducting employer’s forum on DOLE Department Order (DO) No. 174.

On March 19, 2017, the labor department released the DO no. 174, laying down its new regulations governing contracting and subcontracting arrangements.

The DOLE adopted two tracks in eliminating illegal contractualization, including labor-only contracting or “endo”.

In the first track, the DOLE regional offices conducted series of consultations and meetings to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers under the unlawful arrangements.

For the second track, labor laws compliance officers inspected establishments, principals and contractors practicing labor-only contracting arrangements.

Those found to be engaged in labor-only contracting are subjected to mandatory conferences to assist them in their compliance with labor standards.

In 2017, about 1,733 workers were given regular employment status in six provinces of Eastern Visayas. (PNA)