MANILA, Philippines – The president of SM Investments Corporation (SMIC), one of the largest employers in the Philippines, said on Wednesday, April 27, that his company does not practice contractualization.
“SM doesn’t do contractualization. We do hiring for seasons like during the second quarter for school opening,” SMIC president and director Harley Sy replied on the sidelines of an annual stockholders’ meeting at Conrad Manila in Pasay City.
As of end-2015, SMIC has 65,436 employees. Of this figure, Sy said “less than 1%” are seasonal.
His statement comes after the 3rd presidential debate in Pangasinan last Sunday, April 24, where all 5 candidates vowed to stop labor contractualization.
Presidential candidates Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago all said “endo” – the colloquial term for “end of contract” – is illegal.
Contractualization is rampant in the country, with employees getting hired and fired every 5 months, allowing employers to skip mandatory bonuses and benefits.
Under the Labor Code, companies should make their employees regular after 6 months and provide required bonuses and benefits. (READ: No to ‘endo’ or contractual labor – presidential bets)
‘Just like part-time jobs’
According to SMIC’s Sy, seasonal workers are hired for only two to 3 months.
“Seasonal is based on our requirements. This is to fulfill our short-term requirements. It could be for two to 3 months,” Sy explained. (READ: Why won’t contractualization work in PH? Poor quality of life – Ople)
The SMIC president added that the company hires extra people during November and December, to keep up with the Christmas rush.
“This is legally allowed. It’s just like providing part-time jobs,” he said.
Sy said SMIC follows the Labor Code and hiring seasonal workers is just a way to “augment workforce.”
“There are seasons when you have to hire more people and we just have to find ways to survive,” he added.
In 2015, SMIC and its subsidiaries reported flat consolidated net income of P28.4 billion, which is the same level as 2014.
Its consolidated revenues, however, increased by 7% to P295.9 billion in 2015.
Henry Sy, the 91-year-old chairman of SM Investments, retains his spot as the richest Filipino with a net worth of $12.9 billion, according to Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires. – Rappler.com