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ILO sees progress in tackling contractualization issues

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job fair
Jobseekers at a local government job fair. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE International Labor Organization (ILO) said the Philippines is moving forward both in terms of its compliance with international labor laws and resolving the issue of contractualization.

ILO Philippine Country Director Khalid Hassan said he views the government to be taking “very seriously” the issue of labor contractualization after the labor department released a list of companies who are still allegedly practicing it.

The list consisted of 3,377 companies the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) submitted to Malacañang, though only the leading firms were made public.

“They are improving, they are discussing it, they are coming up with ideas, they are looking into the laws, if there is a need to adjust the laws. It’s not that easy,” Mr. Hassan told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the Labor Standards and Trade Forum held in Makati City on Tuesday.

He added there is room for improvement in areas such as dialogue with stakeholders.

“You must have observed (that) there are a lot of discussions with the employers’ organizations. (But) it takes time, it needs social dialogue,” Mr. Hassan said in a press conference.

While admitting that some stakeholders “may still be not happy” with the measures the government has taken, communication is the “first step in going in that direction.”

President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign promises include was putting an end to employment practices that deny workers a path to permanent employment and security of tenure.

To mark Labor Day, Mr. Duterte signed an executive order instructing the DoLE to inspect working conditions and compile its list of companies subject to compliance orders. — Janina C. Lim