TABACO CITY — The war to stop ‘endo’ continues to gain ground in Bicol.


Lotte Mart, a growing grocery store chain with main branch here, has voluntarily regularized 54 of its workers comprising the first batch to be given regular employment status.


In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Bicol Regional Director Exequiel Sarcauga said Lotte Mart submitted the names of the first batch of regularized workers after their appointment papers were signed late last week.


“Ending endo is our priority here and we welcome voluntary regularization such as this,” Sarcauga added.


Lotte Mart HR head Raquel Baclao said, “This is the first time that we are issuing appointment papers to our workers. It’s a positive move for us as we wanted to really comply with labor laws. Perhaps DOLE can also help us orient our workers that with these appointment documents is the responsibility on the part of our employees to perform better.”


She also said the regularization was only the first batch since they plan to regularize all their personnel who pass the six-month probationary period.


Lotte Mart owner Ricky Tang said they will also regularize workers of its sister company, Oriental Bazaar, which is bigger and with branches in Tabaco City and Daraga in Albay and will open a third branch in Ligao City.


Combined, Lotte Mart and Oriental Bazaar will regularize a total of 139 workers before the end of March.


“We welcome this move. This is one big leap for us. Imagine one of the booming grocery chains in a major city voluntarily regularizing its workers. They are setting a good example,” DOLE Bicol Assistant Regional Director Rovelinda Dela Rosa said.


To encourage more voluntarily regularization like that of Lotte Mart and Oriental Bazaar, DOLE Bicol even plans to stage promotional activities for establishments voluntarily ending ENDO.


“Yes, because of their good deed we promote them by telling Bicolanos to buy on stores who are labor law complaint! We have a very good relationship with the media here and it will be their reward!,” Dela Rosa said.


The voluntarily regularization materialized after a conduct of several conferences with the management of Lotte Mart by Mr. Raymond Escalante, a Labor inspection and hearing officer of DOLE Albay.


“Kudos to DOLE Albay for this magnificent accomplishment. We hope that more will come and that other provincial offices will also follow this voluntary regularization track,” Sarcauga said.


### Raymond P. Escalante

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