PLDT workers lose regularization case at Court of Appeals

Lian Buan

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PLDT workers lose regularization case at Court of Appeals


The Court of Appeals remands to DOLE the case of installation, repair and maintenance workers, and voids the regularization of janitors, I.T, back office support, sales, and others


MANILA, Philippines – Workers of telecommunications giant PLDT Incorporated who previously secured regularization orders from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) lost at the level of the Court of Appeals (CA).

The CA voided DOLE’s regularization of the following workers of PLDT:

  1. Janitorial services, messengerial and clerical services
  2. Information technology (IT) firms and services
  3. I.T support services, both hardware and software; and applications development
  4. Back office support and office operations
  5. Business process outsourcing or call centers
  6. Sales
  7. Medical, dental, engineering and other professional services

The CA remanded to DOLE for “further conduct of proceedings” the regularization of individuals performing installation, repair and maintenance services.

Workers’ group Power held a protest in front of the Court of Appeals morning of Monday, August 6. 

The workers that CA declared to be not entitled to regularization were originally part of the more than 7,000 workers that DOLE ordered PLDT to regularize.

It is unclear how many workers will be regularized, after the CA significantly cut down the workers entitled to it. (READ: #SavePLDTContractuals: Ex-PLDT workers share stories of being jobless)

In a statement, the DOLE said it is reviewing the CA decision “with with the end view of filing a motion for reconsideration.”

CA decision

In a decision promulgated on July 31, the CA 10th Division said that janitorial, maintenance, security workers and messengers are not necessary to the principal business of PLDT, and therefore, they may be contracted.

“Consequently, the janitors, security guards and messengers belong to that class or group of employees of the contractors that should not be regularized by PLDT,” the CA said.

In the case of medical and dental workers, the CA said that they are not “directly related to PLDT’s principal business.” 

“Hence, PLDT is not required to hire doctors, nurses and dentists as its regular employees and these are services or functions that may be validly contracted out,” the CA said.

As for other professional services, the CA said “the workers were found to be independent contractors because of their unique skills and talents and the lack of control over the means and methods in the performance of their work. 

“As such, this group of employees is expected to provide professional service based on their independent discretion as such professionals,” the CA said.

The 47-page decision was penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, with concurrences from Associate Justices Sesinando Villon and Maria Filomena Singh. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.