More workers in Bicol regularized

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- At least close to 7,000 workers in Bicol that were hired under contractualization have gained regular employment from hundreds of establishments across the region, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday. A total of 6,721 workers were regularized from 167 private business establishments operating in the six provinces of Bicol during the first semester of this year, according to Johana Gasca, DOLE Bicol spokesperson. Gasca in an interview said the regularization of workers who were originally employed under a contract of service or Endo was made possible through the accelerated government campaign against Endo. She said, “the drive against Endo went on high gear in Bicol where a significant increase in the number of erstwhile contractual workers have been finally regularized by their private employers in response to the government’s call to end contractualization.” Of those regularized, 4,211 or 63 percent were regularized through inspection conducted by the agency while 2,510 or 37 percent were regularized voluntarily by their respective employers. DOLE Bicol recorded 167 establishments in all provinces of Bicol that regularized their workers from January to June 2018. At least 137 companies regularized their own workers upon visit by the agency’s inspectors, while 30 establishments voluntarily regularized their own workers. Gasca, quoting an agency report, said business establishments in Bicol are being careful not to break the law by hiring workers on contractual basis after the agency conducts routine inspection to evaluate their compliance with labor laws and social legislation through a prescribed Inspection checklist. She said routine inspections are being conducted in establishments engaged in manufacturing, agriculture, services (hospitals, hotels, restaurants, food chains), contractors and sub-contractors (security agencies), telecommunications (BPOs) and construction projects.