Pursuant to the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has started convening business establishments and employers groups in various industries in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to secure their support and cooperation in eliminating ‘contractualization’ or ‘endo’ and other prohibited practices.
“We have started holding dialogues with major industry players in the National Capital Region. The establishments, such as malls, food chains, and hotel industries, have big roles to play in ensuring that ‘endo’ or illegitimate contractualization is eliminated,” Bello said.
Last week, the DOLE Technical Working Group (TWG) held a dialogue with the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PALSCON) as part of its ongoing campaign in Luzon. Similar dialogues are also being conducted with contractors and sub-contractors in the Visayas and Mindanao.
During the consultation, Secretary Bello appealed to PALSCON members to help DOLE eliminate ‘endo.’
“We all look at you as partners, and as partners, we must help each other. Let’s find out how we can solve this problem immediately,” Bello said.
The Secretary also reminded the contractors group about President Duterte’s ardent aim to get rid of ‘endo’ and contractualization. “You know the position of President Duterte—no ‘endo’; no contractualization. I am relaying to you his message,” he said.
However, the DOLE Secretary reminded the members of PALSCON to give their employees what is due them.
“You must give your employees all the benefits that they deserve under the law but what is most essential is their security of tenure,” Bello said.
Part of the national action plan in eliminating ‘endo’ is the review of Department Order No. 18 and its proposed revision, focused group discussion of experts, and adoption of a communications plan to support the campaign to eliminate ‘endo’ and all prohibited forms of contracting and subcontracting.
DOLE will also recommend to the President the earmarking of substantial funds to serve as safety net protection for displaced workers by providing job facilitation services, training and retraining programs, livelihood assistance, and scholarships for dependents.
A legislative action is also being considered to reinforce the total eradication of ‘endo’ practice.
Bello issued DOLE Advisory No. 10-2016 which prohibits labor-only contracting, or an arrangement where the contractor or the subcontractor merely recruits, supplies, or places workers to perform a job, work, or service for a principal.
Labor only contracting is also prohibited if the contractor or subcontractor does not have sufficient capital or investments in the form of tools, equipment, machinery, work premises, among others, and the workers recruited are performing activities that are directly related to the main business of the principal.
Labor-only contracting is also present when the contractor does not exercise control over the performance of the work of the employees, rather the principal actually exercises control and supervision over them.
Illegitimate contractualization or ‘endo’ practices constitute labor-only contracting or other similar arrangements where the duration of employment is fixed for a short period for purposes of circumventing workers’ rights to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining, labor standards, and other basic workers’ rights.
Illegitimate contractualization, or ‘endo’ practices, exist in both bilateral and trilateral employment relationships.
Along with these consultations, DOLE is also conducting joint assessments and compliance visits of establishments.
To carry out these assessments in all companies engaged in contracting and sub-contracting, DOLE mobilized its officials and inspectors, mediator-arbiters, and labor arbiters to identify policy gaps in the implementation of Department Order No. 18-A; detect contractualization practices; and identify different models of hiring practices in contracting arrangements.
DOLE will be examining new and developing schemes in contractualization to stop the prohibited practices that constitute ‘endo.’
The Department will implement a national action plan with specific regional and sectoral action plans to ensure strict compliance with labor standards and to enforce workers’ rights to security of tenure.
DOLE targets to totally abolish the practice of ‘endo’ and other illegitimate forms of contracting in 2017.