More time needed for second list of labor violators — DoLE

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THE LABOR department is seeking more time from President Rodrigo R. Duterte to complete its second list of companies allegedly involved in illegal contractualization.

In a briefing on Thursday, Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said: “We’re expecting the president to give us another month to submit the additional list,” and added that inspections of company labor practices are ongoing.

The original deadline for the second list was mid-July.

Mr. Bello said in June that the DoLE will release a second list focusing on television networks and hospitals involved in labor-only contracting arrangements. Last month, DoLE said the Labor Inspection Auditors (LIAs) will also look into security agencies and companies in economic zones.

He added that after the LIAs file their reports, the information will need to be validated.

He noted that some of the companies that have been inspected and included in the list submitted a regularization program for their contractual workers before inspection.

“We have to find out if they really regularized (their workers),” Mr. Bello said, adding this represents additional work for the LIAs.

Mr. Bello said he expects the second list to “have the same number of non-compliant companies” as the first list, which was released in May.

On May 28, DoLE released a list of 3,377 companies alleged to be engaged in illegal labor practices. Of the total, 2,610 were “suspected” while 765 were “found” to have been engaged in labor-only contracting.

He added that it is possible the second list will be smaller because companies have concluded that the government is serious and that he expects some firms to “comply voluntarily without getting a compliance order from us.”

During the briefing, Mr. Bello said one company, a media network, hid its workers during inspections.

“We visited a network, and when the labor inspectors left, someone texted me to say that the workers were hidden away, which is why I ordered the inspector to return.’

He did not disclose the name of the network. — Gillian M. Cortez