MORE than half a million contractual workers were granted regular status during the current government’s term as a result of voluntary regularization programs and expanded labor inspections, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said as of November, 580,539 workers have been granted regular status since 2016, up from the year-earlier tally of 411,000.
“This is the most vital achievement of our department and that is the regularization of 580,539 contractual workers and for your information, we would like to emphasize that we have inspected 219,141 business establishments,” Mr. Bello told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr. Bello said in the past that more than half of those regularized gained their new status through a voluntary process while the employers of the remainder were issued compliance orders by labor inspectors.
Earlier this month, DoLE said that it has inspected 57,514 businesses in the first 11 months of 2019. This exceeds the target of inspecting 55,000 for this year.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) contested DoLE’s data by questioning the quality of jobs for which the workers gained regular status. TUCP Vice President Luis M. Corral told reporters Wednesday that DoLE should have released additional information about the quality of work, and whether they are engaged in “decent” real security of tenure, adding that some cases are under appeal.
“Humihiling ang TUCP ng disaggregation ng kanilang datos kasi unang una ilan sa 500,000 or 600,000 na workers na ‘yan ay mga kaso na ina-appeal sa Office ng Secretary ng Labor or other words ‘di pa sila na-regularize kasi di pa pina regularization ng mga manggagawa na ‘yan. Pangalawa, ilan ang in-appeal sa court system….at ilan ang na-regularize ng agency na hindi naman talaga tunay na employer nila dahil ang tunay na employer nila ay ang principal nila (The TUCP is requesting a breakdown of the data to show how many of the 500,000-600,000 cases are under appeal… in other words, they are not yet regular pending a final ruling. Some of them have been tied up in court while some were granted regular status by their agencies, who are not really their real employers — the real employer is the principal),” Mr. Corral said. — Gillian M. Cortez