By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Department of Labor and Employment on Wednesday told the Philippine Long Distance Telephone company to comply with the order to regularize more than 7,000 of its workers.
In a clarificatory order, the Labor Department warns that “any act or condition imposed that frustrates or tend to frustrate the order to regularize is contumacious and shall be dealt with in accordance with law.”
DOLE also clarified that pursuant to existing laws, the regularization of workers as a result of the finding of labor only contracting takes effect by operation of law and is “not subject to any condition.”
The Labor Department issued the Clarificatory Order after getting reports that PLDT is terminating a number of workers from its contractors.
In an interview, DOLE Assistant Secretary Benjo Benavidez explained the rationale behind the need to issue such an order.
“The clarificatory order merely clarifies that the regularization is not subject to any conditions, that they should not be conducting pre-employment processes, among others,” he said.
This, amid reports that PLDT is conducting pre-employment activities in regularizing the concerned workers.
Benavidez said the regularization order is “automatic” and is not subject to any condition or requirement.
The Clarificatory Order was issued on the same day members of the PLDT Organization of Workers and Employees for Rights (POWER) held a protest rally outside DOLE.
Later, the group had a dialogue with labor officials led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Last April, the Labor Department denied the motion of PLDT regarding its resolution last January 10, 2018 directing the company and a number of its contractors to grant their employees regular employment status and pay workers’ monetary benefits.
Bello dismissed PLDT and its contractors’ appeal for “lack of merit.”