Dole: ‘End of project can’t mean end of employment’

Published by anna Date posted on December 28, 2016

Sunstar, December 28, 2016

AFTER outlawing subcontracting, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) told contractors Wednesday that they are also being prohibited from letting go of their workers once a project with a principal ends.

In the information sheet on the new Department Order (DO) for the contractualization policy, the Dole informed President Rodrigo Duterte that contractors’ employees cannot be terminated once the contract for a specific project ends.

“The proposed DO disallows the termination of contractors’ employees simply due to the completion of the service agreement between the principal and the contractor,” said the two-page document shown to the media.

“As a legitimate contractor, he is legally and contractually bound to provide another employment to his employees,” it further said. In the meantime that there is no project available, Dole said contractors are mandated to provide financial assistance to their employees for a period of not more than three months. If after three months there are still no projects available, the Dole said the contractors must provide their employees with separation pays.

Among the more common jobs that are sourced from contractors are security guards, janitorial, and other seasonal workers. Last week, the Dole announced that the new DO is set to outlaw subcontracting, which it described as being a “breeding ground” for violations of labor laws.

Subcontractors are defined as entities that contracts with a prime contractor to perform some or all of the prime contractor’s contractual obligations with the principal.

In an interview, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the new DO’s provisions is the best that the Department can offer in meeting the campaign promise of Duterte to end all forms of contractualization. He said this is given the limitations to the mandate of the Dole in terms of totally eliminating contractual work schemes in the country.

“What we are envisioning is that assuming that we proceed with the contractual operations as provided by law, the regular employees will continue to become regulars and those being sourced out, although they will be sourced out by a service provider, they will also attain the status of a regular employee to their contractors. So, in effect, there are no more contractuals.

They will all become regular employees,” explained Bello. He reiterated that the Dole cannot issue a blanket prohibition on contractualization as the latter is provided for by no less than the Labor Code of the Philippines. As to the release of the new DO, Bello said they are just finalizing a few details before signing it. Bello said they also want Duterte to be able to review contents of the new DO despite it not being a requirement. (HDT/Sunnex)

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