MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday, August 9, stood pat on its cease and desist order against customer service contractors of PLDT Incorporated, even if it would affect the services of the telecommunications company.
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod stood firm on the DOLE order during the Senate hearing on regularization issues of employees of PLDT and NutriAsia on Thursday, August 9.
Senator Nancy Binay asked Maglunsod if DOLE can allow PLDT customer service contractor SPI CRM Incorporated to continue its contract with the telco “just so the workers continue to have jobs and have salaries.”
In response, Maglunsod said in a mix of English and Filipino: “DOLE’s order is clear: You [PLDT] have to regularize 7,000 and the [contractors to] cease and desist [operations]. We will stand by that. Now, you see the effect on your services? Don’t blame DOLE.”
Maglunsod added that DOLE has provided minimum financial assistance to the affected workers amounting to P5,120 for 10 days.
He also said PLDT should also pay the workers P51.6 million in unpaid monetary benefits, based on the order.
Due to the labor dispute, PLDT has blamed DOLE for its poor internet services and customer services
“If I remember correctly, almost all our call centers were issued cease and desist orders that’s why we couldn’t serve the public. And that’s why a lot of people lost their jobs,” PLDT Senior Vice President Butch Jimenez said.
DOLE had ordered PLDT to regularize more than 7,300 workers from 38 contractors back in January, and issued cease and desist orders to the contractors.
DOLE said PLDT engaged in labor-only contracting schemes, wherein its contractors performed duties that are part of the telco’s core functions.
In April, DOLE ruled that the regularization order be “final and executory.”
But the Court of Appeals (CA) decided in favor of PLDT on July 31 and remanded the case to DOLE. This significantly reduced the number of workers entitled to regularization.
DOLE said it will file a motion for reconsideration. – Rappler.com
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