Thursday, October 6, 2016

DOLE-Bicol notes increase in local firms absorbing contract workers as regular employees
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 6 (PNA)—-The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol reported an increase in the number of private companies in Bicol voluntarily absorbing their contract workers as regular employees in response to the government’s call for an end to contractualization.

DOLE Regional Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said they have recorded 285 contract workers who were absorbed by 24 local firms or principals from all over the region as regular employees.

She said the move of the private firms to regularize their employees is a positive response to the call of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to put a stop to contractualization or “endo” (end-of-contract).

“Actually, we were expecting this to happen. We know that our local firms would understand the context of ‘endo’ and will positively react to it,” Trayvilla said.

She said the number of local companies voluntarily absorbing their contract employees “have at least doubled” after DOLE Bicol publicly announced the first three companies which voluntarily absorbed their employees after a regional consultation with DOLE.

DOLE Bicol earlier announced that at least 50 percent of the recorded contract workers must be absorbed by the principals before the end of 2016. The agency, however, has yet to release official figures on the number of these workers.

Trayvilla said the newly absorbed contract workers were from shopping malls, restaurants, manufacturing, distribution and sales sectors, an electric cooperative, and even from a national government agency,”

She said she hopes other establishments would follow in voluntarily absorbing their workers.

“As I always say, we are all Bicolanos and I am appealing to the principals as a Bicolano so that they (principal) would absorb workers voluntarily,” she added.

DOLE-Bicol reiterated that it will be more beneficial to both the manpower agency and the principal to voluntarily absorb workers rather than wait for DOLE Bicol to rule a “Labor-Only-Contracting (LOC),” which means the firms will be obliged to hire the workers on a permanent basis.

Trayvilla said if the principal voluntarily absorbs its workers, DOLE-Bicol may even give some incentives like giving monetary benefits to the firms.

“This is better compared to issuing a compliance order in which the process would have to be followed,” she said.

Meanwhile, some 10 manpower agencies went to DOLE Bicol early last week to seek clarification on the “endo.” (PNA) FPV/GVR/CBD