DOLE calls on contractors to volunteer in labor inspection
The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) DO 174 was a massive disappointment for workers who were seeking an end to contractualization, or what’s commonly known as “Endo.” While “Endo” practice, which has been around for decades, is not written into the outdated Labor Code, it’s a widely accepted practice that places workers in situations where their rights and benefits aren’t protected by the law. President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire to abolish “Endo” permanently, most recently speaking out on the issue during the Labor Day holiday. Given DOLE’s struggles with abolishing the practice, the President has asked workers for their patience in resolving the issue. Instead, he promised to issue an executive order for “the strict implementation of existing laws against endo and labor-only contracting.”
DOLE asks for volunteers for labor inspections
In May, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III announced that DOLE is in search for volunteers for the nationwide inspection of companies’ compliance with labor laws. The Philippine News Agency reported in May that during a speech at the founding anniversary of the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PALSCON), Bello encouraged members of the labor and management sectors to participate in the nationwide labor inspection because DOLE “lacks inspectors.” He indicated that DOLE currently has only 525 Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) who are tasked to inspect over 900,000 establishments nationwide, a figure he believes is “still inadequate.”
Pres. Duterte promises to add to the DOLE workforce
In his Labor Day speech, President Rodrigo Duterte promised that the government will hire more labor inspectors. He explained that DOLE has a “very limited number of personnel” who cannot inspect as much as 1,000 establishments in one day. He then ordered DOLE to “deputize trade unions and their staff to conduct inspections of all establishments.” He even urged labor unions to do the inspections on the condition that they would remain “honest” with him in their reports.
Who can volunteer?
Interested parties who would like to serve as DOLE labor inspectors will be required to attend training programs. Those who should volunteer are qualified members of “legitimate labor organizations, labor associations, chartered locals, national union/federation, accredited integrated professional organization/accredited professional organization, non-government organization, and employer’s organization,” as per the PNA. The purpose of such labor inspections is to prohibit illegal contractualization and apprehend establishments that continue to adhere to such malpractices.
President emphasizes support for DOLE despite sluggish actions to end ‘Endo’
Despite DOLE’s seemingly sluggish actions to eradicate the practice of “Endo” among establishments across the nation, President Rodrigo Duterte remains supportive of the department’s call for volunteers. He emphasized that the ultimate goal was to protect workers’ rights because “Workers play a significant role in pushing for the rights to humane condition at work, basic wages and organized acts, including collective bargaining and unionism.” Under “Endo,” workers’ salaries are limited, pushing them further down the poverty line thanks to the continually rising prices of basic commodities, disabling them from properly providing for themselves and for their families. DOLE says they are committed to tracking down establishments that continue the “Endo” practice that limits workers to erratic, non-regular jobs.