Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III will convene all the DOLE regional directors, including selected heads of bureaus, attached agencies, and services next week to continue discussing issues and strategies needed to address labor contractualization in the country.
In his memorandum, Secretary Bello ordered all the DOLE regional directors, including the directors of the Bureaus of Working Conditions, Local Employment, Labor Relations, Workers with Special Concerns; the Legal Service, National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and National Wages and Productivity Commission, for a workshop on 18-19 July to review policies and legal framework and assess the contracting and sub-contracting practices in industries.
“This is our continuing effort to address the issue of contractualization pursuant to President Duterte’s directive to afford full protection to contractual workers and ensure that their rights are upheld,” Secretary Bello said.
The DOLE chief also reiterated that the use of short-term employment contracts, whether these are through direct hiring by employers or through contracting out, which is contrary to the provisions of Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as amended, or are in circumvention of Article 249, are not allowed.
To this effect, Secretary Bello also directed the regional directors to strictly implement the labor law compliance system.
Bello also instructed the Bureau of Working Conditions to prepare a profile of contractors and subcontractors based on the results or findings of labor laws compliance officers. “This will enable us to come up with a reliable and credible background of contracting and subcontracting in the country,” he added.
Secretary Bello likewise enjoined the regional directors to submit problems and constraints encountered in the enforcement of labor laws and social legislation and their recommendations to address the causes of the problems. They are also required to submit the profile of contracting and subcontracting arrangements in their respective jurisdictions.
“I have also tasked the Bureau of Labor Relations and the Legal Service to prepare an inventory of all laws, rules and regulations, issuances and jurisprudence, including pending bills on contracting and subcontracting, and come up with recommended solutions or causes of action to remedy violation identified,” Bello said.
Secretary Bello assigned Undersecretary for Social Protection Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III to oversee DOLE’s task of addressing contractualization issues and all related activities to be undertaken in the future to meet the policy goal of the Duterte administration.
“We have to ensure that all contracting and subcontracting arrangements and practices nationwide are in compliance with Articles 106 to 109 and 294 of the Labor Code, as amended, and existing rules and regulations and those that may be adopted and issued in the future,” Bello said.
Secretary Bello also informed that he has issued Administrative Order No. 405 series of 2016 creating a technical working group, chaired by Undersecretary Lagunzad, and co-chaired by Undersecretary Joel B. Maglungsod, to develop and monitor the action plan on addressing contractualization.
The members of the TWG on Contractualization are the Bureau of Working Condition, Bureau of Labor Relations, Bureau of Local Employment, National Labor Relations Commission, National Wages and Productivity Commission, DOLE National Capital Region, Legal Service, Planning Service, and Labor Communications Office.