The Department of Labor and Employment said on Wednesday that thousands of workers employed under the “contractual or endo” scheme will be regularized starting this month once an agreement with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the DOLE this week.
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the National Voluntary Regularization Plan is set on Feb. 8 which will cover an initial 220,000 workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
Included in the agreement is the absorption by the principal employers as regulars the workers who are believed engaged under illegal contracting arrangements.
Bello said the conclusion of an agreement with the ECOP for the implementation of a voluntary regularization plan will cover 30 to 40 percent of the workers of 3,200 pre-identified establishments, mostly ECOP members.
“We are confident that this agreement will set the stage for the massive regularization to be voluntarily initiated by the rest of the employers nationwide,” Bello said.
Bello said the government hopes more private companies will also absorb their contractual workers on their own volition once the agreement with ECoP is signed.
Among other companies who submitted their voluntary regularization plan include SM Malls, which were able to regularize 11,660 workers and Jollibee Foods Corp.
As of December 2018, the labor department’s ‘endo’ campaign netted 413,940 regularized workers of which 291,612 workers were voluntarily regularized by their own employers, while the 122,328 secured their employment through labor inspections and assessment.
However, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition said that the signing of a MOA between DOLE and ECOP is nothing but a ploy to thwart the passage of the End ENDO Bill in the Senate.
“The MOA cannot change the miserable situation of our contractual workers. Only a new law can do that,” the Nagkaisa said in a statement.
“We thus find it hard to trust and believe that this agreement between DOLE and ECOP will bring about regularization of contractualized workers become regular workers with their principal employers. We suspect this a way for some abusive employers to escape from labor inspection,” TUCP President Raymond Mendoza said.