Uncooperative employers and subcontractors who are engaged in the so-called 5-5-5′, or ‘endo’ (end-of-contract) work practices, and who are flaunting and circumventing the law on subcontracting are already sanctioned under Article 288 of the Labor Code, hence, there is no need for a law to deal with them.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this after she joined other Cabinet Secretaries on a pre-Labor Day dialogue between President Aquino III and the country’s labor groups in Malacanang Tuesday.
“If there is sufficient evidence of violation of directly circumventing the provision of the Labor Code on subcontracting, we can use Article 288 of the Labor Code which imposes criminal liability for unlawful acts that the Courts can declare,” said Baldoz.
“Unfortunately, this provision of the law has not been tested,” she added.
She said that the DOLE is focused on at the moment on the serious implementation of new Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS), a reform directive of the President, which is embodied in D.O. No. 131 Series of 2013.
She said that to carry out the order, President Aquino III has given the DOLE plantilla positions for 372 labor law compliance officers to ensure that each establishment is visited or inspected at least once a year.
“We have now 574 LLCOs who have trained and deployed. They are equipped with mobile gadgets for real time assessment and compliance reporting,” she said.
Under the new LLCS, the DOLE has shifted from the purely regulatory mode of enforcement to a developmental approach, which is envisioned to foster a culture of voluntary compliance, like in compliance audits of ISO certification bodies.
“Our LLCOs have in their mobile gadgets electronic checklists of labor law compliances developed based on decent work indicators. We are now able to monitor: (a) record of compliance of establishments; (b) number of their regular employees, number of their contractors and their workers; (c) occupational injuries and fatalities; (d) unions and collective bargaining agreements; and (e) child labor law compliances. More importantly, we can now monitor and track the performance of our LLCOs,” Baldoz explained.
Baldoz proudly said that the DOLE has been able to demonstrate to the ILO–which provided technical assistance to the development of the LLCS–that the system’s management information system is the first of its kind in the world that combines regulatory and developmental approaches in labor laws compliance.
She bared that as of press time, there are already 9,816 establishments registered in the system’s live registry, of which 1,478 in the NCR, Regions 2, 3, and 4-A have already been assessed.
“We have found out through the assessments that the most common violations are of general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards. True to the developmental thrust of the new LLCS, our LLCOs have assisted the subject establishments to formulate corrective action plans,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz further said that establishments cooperating with the DOLE by voluntarily complying with labor laws need not feel threatened by the visits of LLCOs.
“They are there to be your friends, to improve your systems, and assist you to be compliant. And their services are absolutely free,” she said.
To establishments, however, that refuse to cooperate and even circumvent the labor laws to evade their obligation and responsibilities to their workers, such as engaging in ‘5-5-5’ or ‘endo’, Baldoz said the DOLE is very patient and will still assist the companies and find out why their corporate behavior is such or why they fail to comply.
“If they continually refuse even after our technical assistance and sufficient time have been given, then we will enforce the law against them,” she finally said.