President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with labor groups before the end of the month to discuss their concerns on contractualization, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III announced yesterday.

“The President will dialogue with labor groups on February 27. The main agenda, of course, is contractualization,” Bello said.

He said he is optimistic that the meeting will result to the crafting of a compromise between workers and employers’ group in ending illegal contractualization practices.

“That is what the department is aiming for,” he said.

Bello has urged labor and employers to keep an open mind and consider the possibility of finding a middle ground that would be mutually beneficial to all concerned.

Meanwhile, a total of 35,855 contractual workers nationwide have been regularized by their employers as of end January.

Of the said number, 31,756 workers were regularized after the DOLE Regional Offices conducted consultations with 7,433 contractors and principals. About 4,099 workers were regularized after the assessment in 1,001 establishments.

Bello said, “We continue to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers, who are under labor-only contracting arrangements.”

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