THE LABOR department said it will assist the 7,000 or so contractual workers of PLDT, Inc. (PLDT) through an “emergency employment program.”
“As a form of assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), we will provide them an emergency employment program,” Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a briefing on Thursday.
He said these workers of PLDT will be provided assistance equivalent to 10 days’ work and the corresponding pay, alongside other forms of assistance, which he did not detail.
“It is not the right time to tell the public what actions the department will take but these actions will always be for the enforcement of our order and… meet the immediate needs of our workers,” Mr. Bello said.
He said legal action against PLDT is in the works, which “will take time to prepare.”
PLDT filed a manifestation on July 24 questioning the “validity” of the DoLE’s clarificatory order on its labor practices issued on July 11.
“We respect their decision on that. They have their lawyers and they give them all the legal assistance they can provide,” Mr. Bello said.
“But we have a DoLE procedure and that Clarificatory (Order) is very clear that the employees, referring to the 7,000+ workers, are regular employees of PLDT (and) not the service provider.”
PLDT has since filed a petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals.
Mr. Bello said that PLDT has not received a temporary restraining order, which means the clarificatory order remains in effect.
“They weren’t able to obtain a temporary restraining order so under the rules of procedure, our order has become executory,” he said.
PLDT was asked for comment but had not replied as of deadline time.
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