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‘Endo’ mall workers seek cash bond refund

By Manly M. Ugalde LEGAZPI CITY --- Endo workers in one of the biggest malls in this city are pleading, in the spirit of Christmas, for the refund of their cash bond which their employers have allegedly been ignoring for a long time now. Endo is a popular abbreviation of the term “end of contract,” which means temporarily hired workers need to leave their employer when their contracts end. “We’re appealing that the cash bond regularly deducted in our payroll be refunded to us before December 24,” some contractual workers detailed at the Gaisano Metro Mall here said. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) officials in Bicol said cash bonds have long been banned. At least four employees and a former employee who was a sales clerk assigned at the Gaisano Metro Legazpi wrote to the DOLE regional director here to air their concern about the cash bond. The employees said their employer, Avail A Work Manpower Services, has been collecting cash bond of P500 every payroll period or P1,000 monthly. But, even if their employment contract has already expired after six months of work, they remain at the mercy of their employer desperately waiting for months or a year for the refund. The employees claimed many of their fellow workers had already left their job without being reimbursed of their cash bond. The letter sender also furnished copy of their letter to President Rodrigo Duterte and Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III. In a letter dated December 11, the workers expressed fear they may eventually lose their job if their identities are revealed. They requested that the letter be treated confidentially. Two employees interviewed claimed they had been out of employment since December 2016, and were already issued clearances, but their cash bonds remain unrefunded.

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