Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Catanduanes firm absorbs 231 workers, comprising half of regularized workers in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 18, (PNA) -- One of the biggest firms in Catanduanes voluntarily absorbed its 231 contractual workers, contributing to half of the total workers regularized in the Bicol region since start of the campaign against "Endo" or contractualization by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol.

Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, DOLE-Bicol officer-in-charge regional director, said the move of the Cua Group of Companies to regularize 231 workers in its businesses in shipping, dockside work and office management is more than good news.

“It means that we are on the right track in addressing this Endo issue here in Bicol,” Trayvilla said in a news release issued today.

She said, including the 231, there are now 552 contract workers who have been voluntarily absorbed by principal employers since the start of the Endo campaign in Bicol when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency.

Trayvilla, quoting a report of DOLE Catanduanes, said the Cua Group had released the appointment papers of their employees last October 1.

She said even even prior to the regional consultation on “Endo” last Sept. 1 at the Legazpi City Convention Center, top executives of the Cua Group had decided to support the Endo campaign by regularizing its 231 contractual employees.

“In fact, a focused group meeting with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held on Aug. 12 at the Virac town Center to discuss the regularization of contract employees not just by the said company but in the entire province,” said Trayvilla.

Christine Cua, vice president for finance of the Cua Group of Companies, said they had hoped to become a role model in the business community when they regularized their workers.

“We want to show to Catandungans our sincerity in upholding the security of tenure of our workers,” she said.

Trayilla said she hopes the move of the Cua Group will inspire other big firms in Bicol to follow.

She said she expects an increase in the total of 552 contract workers voluntarily absorbed by principal employers since start of the Endo campaign in Bicol.

“The number is expected to rise even higher within the week since other DOLE provincial offices have yet to submit their reports,” said Trayvilla.

She said DOLE-Bicol has just finished its Endo provincial consultations in Camarines Norte and Masbate last week with a consultation in Sorsogon next in the schedule.

“Our aim in these consultations is to inform our principal employers that it’s better to voluntarily absorb workers rather than wait for us to issue a compliance order on Endo,” Trayvilla stressed.

Prior to the regional consultation on Endo on Sept. 1, DOLE-Bicol gave establishments, local companies and manpower agencies engaging in ENDO until December this year to voluntarily absorb their workers.

But prompted by a pronouncement early this month of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to speed-up the issue on Endo, which is also known as Labor Only Contracting or LOC, DOLE Bicol has announced that after appropriate proceedings, they will be issuing compliance orders for companies.

Trayvilla said that to date, DOLE-Bicol has not yet issued any compliance order for ENDO as all the 552 workers were absorbed voluntarily.

She added, however, that by the end of October, DOLE-Bicol will start giving compliance orders.

“Let me warn those hard-headed companies that when October ends ... if we find out that you’re practicing ENDO and have not come complied voluntarily, then expect a compliance order from us,” said Trayvilla.

She said the 552 workers voluntarily absorbed by their employers in the Bicol region comprised five percent of the total absorbed workers nationwide.

Trayvilla cited the “national total tally of Endo of DOLE Central Office through its Labor Communications Office is nearly 10,000 as of Sept. 30.” (PNA) LAP/GVR/GINA V. RODRIGUEZ/EDS