More Bicol workers regularized in 2019

LEGAZPI CITY -- Intensified inspection of workplaces by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here to safeguard workers from labor law violations led to an increased number of regularized workers last year, the top DOLE official in Bicol said on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Joel Gonzales, director of DOLE-Bicol, said 12,005 workers in the region were regularized by employers in 2019, higher than the over 11,000 workers recorded in 2018.

“From the 12,005 regularized, 6,101 workers or 50.8 percent were regularized due to regular inspection and as a result of compliance orders by the department, while 5,904 or 49.17 percent were regularized due to voluntary commitments of employers,” he said.

Gonzales said the labor department routinely inspects and evaluates private establishments’ compliance with labor laws and social legislation through a prescribed inspection checklist.

“Nagpapakita lamang na malaking porsiyento ng nainspeksyong establisyimento ang sumusunod sa patakaran ng ating ahensya (It only shows that a high percentage of establishments complied with our department’s directives),” he added.

DOLE-Bicol recorded 491 establishments in all Bicol provinces that regularized their workers from January to December 2019.

At least 294 companies regularized their employees upon visit by the agency’s inspectors, while 197 establishments did it voluntarily.

“This is part of the 10-point agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte and Labor Secretary Bello in response to end ‘endo’ (end of contract) and the need for security of tenure,” Gonzales said.

He added that they want to stop the practice of illegal contractualization by means of promoting voluntary regularization of workers in Bicol as their “developmental approach/strategy” in response to the government’s call to end contractualization. (PNA)