Dole to issue new guidelines

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has set Nov. 8, 2016 as deadline for the issuance of a new department order on contractualization.

Dole 7 Director Exequiel Sarcauga said the new department order will contain guidelines on when contractualization is allowed and when it is not.

Sarcauga said the existing Labor Code, specifically Article 106, allows contractualization if it provides service, the provider has sufficient capital and sufficient investment, and is controlling the workers.

Citing an example, Sarcauga said that if a company is producing spare parts and janitorial services are not relevant to the operation, providing janitors on contractual basis is permissible under Article 106.

He said that what is prohibited is if a restaurant hires a cook or a chef on contractual basis when the position is important to the main business.

“A restaurant cannot exist without a cook so that they must be regular from the start of employment,” Sarcauga said.

Sarcauga said that based on the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte, they conducted a three-pronged review of Department Order (DO) 18-A and of the Labor Code, specially Article 106 and Article 280, which allows employment as regular, fixed term, seasonal, provisionary and casual.

As the first prong, Dole 7 conducted seven orientations with employers last August and September.

“It is just like Tokhang because we asked the employers that if they are practicing prohibited employment, they will voluntarily comply by regularizing their employees,” Sarcauga said.

To show proof that they regularize their employees as voluntary compliance with the law, they shall submit to Dole 7 appointments of their employees and official receipts of the payments of premiums to Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth and Pagibig Fund.

On the review of DO 18-A, which is under the second prong, Sarcauga said that there were focus group discussions (FGD) with management, labor and government.

“We asked labor and management what are their views, comments and ideas about DO 10-A, which allows contractualization as defined in Article 106 of the Labor Code,” Sarcauga said.

All the inputs from labor and management were collated and the parties agreed to set the deadline for a new DO on Nov. 8, 2016.

As to the third prong, which is the review of the Labor Code, Sarcauga said this needs an act of Congress and it is the lawmakers who can decide whether to amend the law or not.
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