Nearly 50,000 workers regularized during Duterte’s first year

MANILA, Philippines – After almost a year of its drive against labor contractualization, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that 49,393 employees have been regularized.

Undersecretary Dominador Say said that this is the updated figure as of June 16 – two weeks before the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte marks its first year in office.  

Data came from the Bureau of Working Conditions, which specified that 48,116 of the regularizations were results of efforts done in 2016, while the 1,277 were from the 2017 assessments. 

DOLE is still investigating around 197,000 workers, through mandatory conferences, if they are victims of ‘endo’ and other illicit forms of employment arrangement designed to evade regularization of workers. 

Say earlier said that the DOLE was able to identify 65,000 employees who are victims of the so-called "endo" (end of contract) practice. This refers to the 5-5-5 scheme of employers, which involves the renewal of workers' contracts every 5 months to avoid regularization.

Labor unions, however, put the number of endo-affected workers at 1.3 million. There also remains 670,000 contractual workers hired by manpower agencies, based on DOLE's data. 

Labor compliance officers 

The Department of Budget and Management has granted DOLE’s request for additional slots for senior labor law compliance officers (LLCOs), giving the agency P15 million worth of additional budget. 

DOLE currently has 36 new vacancies for LLCO posts. Applicants have to have a degree in mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering, nursing, or law.  

The labor department also eyes to lobby the House of Representatives for an additional budget to hire 200 more inspectors during the deliberations for the 2018 budget. 

Bello also said previously that they will allow labor union leaders to be deputized as inspectors. 

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Representatie Raymundo Mendoza said labor leaders are now being trained by the DOLE for deployment.

DOLE sees the boost in manpower as a step up in its drive against illegal contracting as they implement Department Order 174.  

Released last March, DO 174 replaces DO 18-A by providing stricter regulations on the contracting out of work.  

Labor groups has since slammed the measure, describing it as a mere reiteration of its predecessor that prohibits labor-only contracting. They, instead, call for the complete abolition of the all forms of term-bound work. – Rappler.com 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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