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DoLE to appeal injunction against order on PLDT workers

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PLDT

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it will file a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals in a bid to overturn an injunction against the enforcement of a DoLE order to PLDT, Inc. calling on the telco to grant regular status to contractual workers.

In a briefing on Wednesday, Aug. 22, DoLE officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary and Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) Director Benjo Santos M. Benavidez said “We are filing through the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) a motion for reconsideration” on the PLDT injunction.

On July 31, the court granted PLDT an injunction on a DoLE order to grant regular status to more than 7,000 contractual workers.

“While it is true that there are functions or activities that may be contracted out, our position is that (they) should be contracted to a legitimate contractor,” Mr. Benavidez said.

He said a legal contractor “must have the capitalization and the equipment to perform the job being contracted out.”

When asked about the prospects for the motion, he said: “There are still legal remedies and we will exhaust all legal remedies even up to the Supreme Court (SC).”

The July 31 ruling said that the labor department had “no substantial evidence” and the issuance of the regularization orders by DoLE Secretary Silvestre H. bello are purely speculative.

In its 59 page MR, DoLE said that they did not take “mere allegations” in the findings made by the DoLE NCR Regional Director nor did it make “unfounded conclusions of law.”

Regarding CA’s ruling that PLDT was denied the right to present their side to DoLE, DoLE’s MR said “PLDT cannot claim it was denied due process because it was afforded a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain its side.”

The CA also ordered for DoLE to recompute the monetary awards PLDT owes its workers, to which DoLE’s MR said its computations aren’t arbitrary since it was subjected to “layers of painstaking review, based on the substantial evidence at hand.”

“These pieces of evidence include not only the inspectors’ interviews, but more importantly, a plethora of documentary evidence such as payrolls, payslips, proofs of payment, positions papers, rosters of workers, employee’s manuals, company rules, release and quitclaims, contracts of employment, service agreements, correspondences, affidavits, bank transaction receipts, and other employment records,” the MR added.

PLDT said it has no comment on the planned motion.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Gillian M. Cortez





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