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Duterte certifies Security of Tenure Bill as urgent

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he received a letter from President Rodrigo Duterte dated September 21 urging the “immediate enactment” of Senate Bill No. 1826 or the Security of Tenure Bill and End of Endo Act of 2018.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s certification of the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent.

He said the practice of contractualization affects more than 1.9 million workers in the private sector. Overall, about three out of 10 Filipino workers are not regular and one out of two non-regular workers are contractual.

Once passed into law, the measure would remove ambiguities in the Labor Code, which is the source of circumventions, and: (a) prohibit labor-only contracting, and provide penalties for violation (b) limit job contracting to licensed and specialized services, (c) classify workers into regular and probationary employees–and treat project and seasonal employees as regular employees, (d) provide security of tenure, (e) clarify standards on probationary employment, and (f) provide “Transition Support Program” for employees while they are not at work or transitioning in between jobs.

The senator added that giving the country’s workers certainty and social protection makes them more efficient and more productive.

Villanueva stressed that, “We certainly need a law that will not only uphold our workers’ basic labor rights and restore dignity of work, but also a law that will promote quality employment without jeopardizing business operations but rather create more stable jobs for every Filipino.” — UNTV News & Rescue

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Government contractuals get two-year job extension, better pay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Three government agencies worked together to come up with a joint circular, detailing guidelines that will greatly benefit job order and contract of service workers in the government.

Recently, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) announced they have amended Joint Circular No. 1.

Government agencies are now allowed to renew qualified contracts up to two more years or until December 31, 2020. Previously, renewal of individual contracts of existing contract of service or job workers was only until December 31, 2018.

The salaries of government contractual workers will also now be equivalent to the daily salary of those in comparable positions in government starting January 2019.

Contractual workers should also expect to receive a premium of up to 20 percent of the salary that may be paid in monthly, lump sum or in tranches depending on their government agency.

The amended circular also provides that qualified existing contract of service and job order workers shall be considered for appointment to vacant positions of government agencies. This will be subject to existing civil service laws, rules and regulations, and merit selection plans approved by the CSC.

This is welcome news for contractual worker Adrian Mendizabal who has been serving as an information officer of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for more than two years now.

Aside from job extension, he is also set to receive better pay. However, Adrian laments the vast difference of this rule from the benefits given to a regular employee.

“Yun po wala po kaming protection wala kaming benepisyo saka mahirap pong  po wala din kaming bonus,” said BFAR job order worker Adrian Mendizabal.

The Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) also considers this amended circular a triumph for workers. But the group admits this is still not enough to address the contractualization scheme in the country.

“Para sa amin po, isang tagumpay ito bagama’t hindi lubusan dahil after two year itutuloy pa rin yung agency hiring,” said Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines national president Manny Baclagon.

The group notes there are more than 700,000 government contractual workers across the country which leads them to question the administration’s campaign and order for private firms to regularize their workers.

“Kung tutuusin gobyerno ang pinakaunang violator ng contractualization sa ating bansa dahil siya ang may pinakamaraming bilang ng mga kontraktual na manggagawa,” said Baclagon.

Government contractual workers also worry that if they were not regularized by December 2020, they would have to deal with a third party agency to outsource their service. — JL Asayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Employers vow to regularize 300,000 workers this year – Bello

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

 

 

Labor Secretary Silvestre ” Bebot” Bello III

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced a good news on regularization during his interview with the program “Get It Straight with Daniel Razon” on Tuesday (August 14).

Bello said the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) signified their support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign to end “endo” scheme or illegal contractualization in the country.

Secretary Bello said the group of employers in the country vowed to regularize 300,000 contractual employees within the year.

To make it happen, Bello said, ECOP promised to ink an agreement with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) before the year ends.

“Sabi ko kapag ginawa niyo iyan I will give you a labor holiday. In other words, hindi ko pabibisitahin ang mga inspectors ko. Just give me that 300,000 na i-regular niyo…Magkakaroon kami ng memorandum of understanding,” Bello assured.

ECOP serves as an umbrella organization of business communities from small entrepreneurs to large business companies and organizations such as the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Chinese- Filipino Businessmen and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Giant firms such as SM Retail Inc. and Jollibee Foods Corporation are also members of ECOP.

Meanwhile, Bello admits they lack available labor law compliance officers to complete the inspection of 800,000 business establishments in the country. Since President Duterte issued the directive in May this year, DOLE was able to inspect only around 99,000 establishments to date.

Thus the Secretary encourages workers and employees themselves to volunteer by undergoing a DOLE-facilitated training to help in the inspection while the agency is awaiting the additional funds from the government in order to hire a new set of Labor Law Compliance Officers.

Ideally sana kung talagang mapagtibay namin ang aming pag- iinspect, tama na sakin muna ng at least 2, 500 additional for a start. Iyong mga nurse sabi namin mag- apply kayo. We will deputize you. After your training, kayo ang mag- inspect sa mga hospitals,” he said.

Secretary Bello admits that regularization is a huge challenge, noting that he needs to convince business giants and conglomerates.

He insists his conscience is clear against allegations being thrown at him, even linking him with giant private companies.

Bello made it to the headlines because of multiple accusations of corruption, extortion and unauthorized collection of fees for OFW iDOLE cards.

The Secretary said he is willing to step down anytime if the President orders him to do so. But Bello remains confident that he still has the trust of President Duterte.

Awa ng Dios hindi pa naman ako tinatawagan ng Presidente. Kasi sabi naman ng Presidente na kahit kaunting suspicion lang na meron kang kinasasangkutan na katiwalian, ‘Hindi lang kita tanggalin, papatayin pa kita,’ sabi niya. Awa ng Dios buhay pa ako. Alam ng ating Pangulo ang pagkatao ko,” he concluded. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo

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PLDT, NutriAsia blame Labor Code over ‘endo’ issues

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod sorrounded by protesters waiting outside DOLE Bldg. in Intramuros Manila on Thursday, August 9 as the hearing continues on regularization of PLDT ccontractual employees. Enrico Orola/PVI

 

Officials of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Incorporated, NutriAsia and union workers attended on Thursday the Senate hearing on contractualization.

Until now, there’s no assurance of re-employment for the 7,000 retrenched workers of PLDT who are insisting regularization based on DOLE’s decision.

The two companies blame the ambiguous provisions of the Labor Code as the underlying cause of issues on contractualization.

PLDT human resources head Menardo Jimenez, Jr. said, “In my interpretation of the law, which may need interpretation, we are allowed to outsource to call centers and business process outsource.”

However, the labor department reminded companies not to use the law’s ambiguity as an excuse to circumvent it.

“Huwag na po nating pagsamantalahin ang kakulungan sa batas,” said DOLE Usec. Joel Maglunsod.

Due to these issues, Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development chairman, Sen. Joel Villanueva said he will ask President Duterte to certify anti-endo bill as urgent.

“Klaro na merong pang-aabuso na nangyayari. Klaro na may problema tungkol sa ambiguedad ng ating mga patakaran , protocols,” said Villanueva.

Last Monday (August 6), the Anti-Endo Bill reached the Senate plenary discussions.

Under the provision, labor-only contracting is strictly prohibited with corresponding penalties.

There will also be a clear –cut classification of regular and probationary employees, and a measure that provides security of tenure to all kinds of workers. — Nel Maribojoc

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