Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday assured various labor groups that the labor department will strictly enforce the new department order which imposes a total ban on labor-only contracting and other forms of unlawful contractual arrangements.

“Kahit na anong ganda ng order, kung sa implementasyon eh walang saysay, wala ring mangyayari dyan. That’s why I am deputizing you [labor groups] to inspect various establishments for their compliance with the new department order,” Bello said addressing workers picketing at the DOLE office in Manila.

He said he has authorized Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod to supervise a team composed of labor compliance officers and representatives from labor and employers that will conduct inspections of more than 90,000 establishments to assure their compliance with labor standards and existing labor laws.

“The inspection team will directly report to me and kapag napatunayang hindi sumusunod, tayo [DOLE] mismo ang pupunta at sasabihin natin na i-regular mo sila,” Bello said.

The labor secretary also addressed criticisms from some labor groups, following his issuance last week of D.O. No. 174 stressing that only Congress, not the DOLE, can completely ban contractualization.

“We have come up with this D.O. to address your [labor groups] immediate concerns but the complete prohibition of all forms of contractualization is beyond our authority. That matter is a function of the legislation, the Congress,” Bello explained.

The order reaffirms the Constitutional and statutory right to security of tenure of workers; applies to all parties in an arrangement where employer-employee relationship exists; and absolutely prohibits labor-only contracting, and specifies other illicit forms of contractual employment arrangements.

It also allows only permissible contracting and subcontracting as defined; re-enforces the rights of workers to labor standards, self-organization, collective bargaining and security of tenure; and requires mandatory registration of contractors and subcontractors and provides clear procedures for cancellation of registration.


END/ Abegail De Vega

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