TACLOBAN CITY- At least 5,148 workers in Eastern Visayas have been regularized from January to the first week of July year as the national government stepped up its drive to end labor-only contracting or “endo”, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here reported Friday.
Of the number, 2,594 benefitted from the campaign when their employers voluntarily complied with the directive to stop endo, while the remaining 2,554 workers attained regular employment status after labor inspection activities.
DOLE 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Cyril Ticao has expressed confidence about hitting the target of 9,000 regularized before the end of this year.
“President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to Congress to pass legislation ending the practice of illegal contractualization is a big boost to our goal to meet or even exceed the target this year,” Ticao told the Philippine New Agency (PNA).
The Chief Executive, in his State of the Nation Address on Monday, asked lawmakers to pass legislation that will “once and for all” stop illegal contractualization.
Contributing to the remarkable performance in the region is the regularization of more than a thousand of these workers, who were given permanent employment status by the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp., the country’s largest copper smelter based in Isabel, Leyte.
The priority in the campaign are shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, food chains, gas stations, manufacturing, construction, transport, and fishing industry since these are the establishments vulnerable to labor-only contracting.
The regional office is largely counting on voluntary compliance since it only has 20 labor inspectors tasked to check the compliance of thousands of business establishments in the region’s six provinces.
The DOLE adopted two tracks in eliminating labor-only contracting or endo.
In the first track, its regional offices conduct a series of consultations and meetings to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers.
For the second track, labor law compliance officers inspect establishments, principals and contractors practicing labor-only contracting arrangements.
Those found to be engaged in labor-only contracting are subjected to mandatory conferences to assist them in their compliance with labor standards.
In 2017, about 1,733 workers were given regular employment status in the six provinces of Eastern Visayas.