DOLE orders regularization of 9,000 PLDT employees

MANILA, July 21 — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued a compliance order directing the regularization of around 9,000 workers of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Incorporation after it has proven to be engaged in labor-only contracting activities.

PLDT and its 45 contractors were ordered to immediately regularize 8,720 employees who are under contracting and subcontracting arrangements but are performing jobs that are directly related to PLDT’s business.

“PLDT and its contractors have been violating labor standards and they failed to refute the findings on the labor-only contracting activities. These employees must be regularized and entitled to security of tenure,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said.

The compliance order, which was based on the findings of the Special Assessment or Visit of Establishment (SAVE), also directed the PLDT and its 47 contractors to pay the monetary claims including the overtime pay, holiday pay, 13th month pay, service incentive leave pay, and unauthorized deductions amounting to P77.5 million to 2,500 contractors’ employees.

Some of the labor violations noted in the compliance order include non-compliance to the Department Order No. 18-A as only 40 out of 91 contractors of PLDT were registered with DOLE while others were either unregistered or with expired registrations.

Also, 35 of its contractors do not have a substantial capital as the employees use the principal’s equipment and tools in the performance of the outsourced services.

Other findings include non-compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Standards as the company’s contractors lack with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as harness, hard hat, safety shoes, and warning devices; lack of trained safety personnel, OSH nurse, trained first-aider and DOLE accredited practitioner; non-presentation of OSH policies, and non-submission of OSHS administrative reports.

However, PLDT was found to be compliant with general labor standards as it provides benefits to its organic employees more than what the law requires.

The said compliance order was issued by DOLE-NCR Regional Director Johnson Cañete, who also directed PLDT to immediately issue appointment letters and payroll reflecting the entitlements of the affected workers as regular employees. (A. De Vega / DOLE)