ECoP: Labor has no part in voluntary regularization plan

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EMPLOYERS Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. said he does not see the need to come to an agreement with the labor sector regarding its voluntary regularization program.

In an interview with BusinessWorld on Monday, Mr. Ortiz-Luis said that while he is not against the idea of expanding its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to include the labor sector, he does not see the latter playing a part.

“We are not against it but the plan doesn’t require the labor sector to do anything. DoLE has a responsibility, the ECoP will do something but labor? What will they do?,” he said.

Last week, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said he is considering of making ECoP’s National Voluntary Regularization Program a tripartite deal. He added that DoLE and ECoP will also reach out to labor unions to get them to sign off on the plan.

The three-year regularization program was due to begin last month but labor groups threatened legal action against Mr. Bello if he signs the MoU with ECoP. Granting ECoP a waiver from labor inspections as an incentive for regularizing at least 220,000 contractual workers over the period could be interpreted as dereliction of duty on the part of Mr. Bello, they said.

Mr. Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that the labor sector’s issues with Mr. Bello need to be discussed if ever the tripartite deal goes ahead. — Gillian M. Cortez