“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall implement Philippine labor policies to all businesses including MSMEs”, said Assistant Secretary Alex Avila at the 2nd Quarter General Membership Meeting of the PHILEXPORT. He informed that the agency is now looking into a “soft approach” to the “endo” by conducting constructive engagement with social partners on the voluntary regularization plan of companies. More importantly, DOLE will look into the developmental approach to existing labor inspection policy in the country. He assured that companies need not worry during inspections as the DOLE is willing to teach them the proper way to comply with the labor policies.
DOLE’s “soft approach” to the “endo” regime can be seen on how the agency had dealt with Jolibee. DOLE considered that the thousands of employees in Jolibee were actually lawful contractual workers and ordered their regularization. Jolibee has opted to the voluntary regularization plan.
DOLE Department Order Nos. 174 and 183, s. 2017 prohibit labor-only contracting, regulate lawful contractual arrangements, and include workers in the inspection of compliance with labor standards and laws. This move will ensure that there will be no “555” which refers to the practice of firing contractual employees after five months. It will also eliminate the practice of “cabo” or persons/entities that, under the guise of labor organization, cooperative or any entity, supply workers to employers and contracting out of job or work through an in-house agency, etc. As such, this will put an end to all illegal forms of contractualization and other forms of illegal labor practices.
On the other hand, employers expect an increase in the cost of labor amid the government’s move to regularize more workers. Thus, absorbing and regularizing the employees would come at a cost to enterprises. However, it will be offset by better productivity by the workers. – Grace T. Mirasol