#SavePLDTContractuals: Ex-PLDT workers share stories of being jobless

Bonz Magsambol
Aside from narratives of ex-PLDT contracted workers, messages of support from their relatives and friends also flood Twitter

MANILA, Philippines – Using #SavePLDTContractuals, former employees of the service contract provider of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Inc. (PLDT), took to twitter to share their stories of being jobless after receiving their notices of contract termination. 

The termination of the contracts came after President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order (EO) prohibiting illegal contracting and subcontracting on May 1, Labor Day. 

The EO, however, was rejected by labor groups who argued that there was “nothing new” with it and it had “no use.” It was merely a “face-saving” measure to appease the labor sector, they said. (READ: ‘Walang silbi’: Labor groups reject Duterte’s EO vs endo)

Last April, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III asked PLDT to regularize around 10,000 employees after finding out that they performed functions necessary to the telecommunication giant. 

Early in June, DOLE denied PLDT’s appeal to reverse the department’s order after it was tagged as among the top companies engaged in illegal contracting. (READ: Jollibee, Dole, PLDT among top companies ‘engaged’ in illegal contracting

A Twitter thread by Pat Teves which collated the stories from former contractual workers of the telephone company has been shared 1,883 times and has 2,328 likes as of posting.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Tweets, stories, and testimonials of PLDT workers and those who are close to them— A THREAD:</p>&mdash; Pat Teves #SavePLDTcontractuals (@patriciativs) <a href=”https://twitter.com/patriciativs/status/1013619384365924352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Twitter user Arnie Joshua Alfonso reminisced about his experience working with the company, contacting customers about their overdue bills and saying sorry for nagging them.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”tl” dir=”ltr”>Wala na pong mangungulit para paalalahanan kayo sa billing niyo, patawad kung minsan naaabala namin kayo. Wala na ho kayong mamumura dahil sa incompetent na service na PLDT. Wala na ho ring sasagot sa 171. Wala na ho ang libolibong contractual ni PLDT <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/savePLDTcontractuals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#savePLDTcontractuals</a> <a href=”https://t.co/pf7MMVMr7r”>pic.twitter.com/pf7MMVMr7r</a></p>&mdash; Arnie joshua alfonso (@ArnieAlfonso) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ArnieAlfonso/status/1013799005464100866?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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For Whin Odinsson, the move made by the PLDT was heartbeaking as he would be separated from his co-workers, whom he treated as second family.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”tl” dir=”ltr”>Maging masaya sana kayo PLDT pinaghiwa-hiwalay nyo kami ng pangalawang pamilya biglaan haha! Heartbreaking talaga yung ginawa nyo. Sayang yung effort ng karamihan kung mauuwi lang sa ganito, lahat sila nagpapakahirap pumasok makapagserbisyo lang sa inyo.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SavePLDTContractuals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SavePLDTContractuals</a> <a href=”https://t.co/HJBGljZuvt”>pic.twitter.com/HJBGljZuvt</a></p>&mdash; Whin Odinsson (@whindizon) <a href=”https://twitter.com/whindizon/status/1013725179954917376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Aside from narratives of ex-PLDT contracted workers, messages of support from their relatives and friends also flooded Twitter.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>My mom was laid off by PLDT so this hits close to home for me. Mas lalo na for contractual workers that arent nearly as privileged as I am. Makibaka po tayo. <a href=”https://t.co/RC26krrLlS”>https://t.co/RC26krrLlS</a></p>&mdash; hey andrew! (@andymancy) <a href=”https://twitter.com/andymancy/status/1013612297636306944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”tl” dir=”ltr”>Eight years na nagwowork kuya ko sa PLDT tapos di pa rin siya nareregular. Ngayon, binigyan siya ng memo na hanggang June na lang contract niya. Waaaaw walang benefits, walang anything. JUNK PLDT.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/savePLDTcontractuals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#savePLDTcontractuals</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/PLDTWorkersProtest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#PLDTWorkersProtest</a> <a href=”https://t.co/CYV1gEudyn”>https://t.co/CYV1gEudyn</a></p>&mdash; E L E A N O R (@AiraaaCenteno) <a href=”https://twitter.com/AiraaaCenteno/status/1013605236173299712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Here’s what other netizens have to say about the #SavePLDTContractuals:

{source}<a class=”twitter-timeline” data-partner=”tweetdeck” href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1013974351165603840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SavePLDTContractuals – Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, PLDT apologized to customers for the affected quality of service due to reduced manpower.

“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has given a number of our service contract providers a Cease and Desist order from rendering service to PLDT,” the statement read.

{source}<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPLDTHome%2Fposts%2F1766207996799609&width=500″ width=”500″ height=”503″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allow=”encrypted-media”></iframe>{/source}

What are your thoughts on the issue? Share them with us in the comments section below! –Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.