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Listing of new labor contractors suspended

The Department of Labor and Employment has officially started its crackdown on contractualization through a new memorandum order suspending the registration of new labor contractors and subcontractors.

The DoLE has issued Department Order No. 162, Series of 2016, suspending the application of new third-party service providers.

Only the existing 5,000 to 6,000 contractors and subcontractors, which are already registered in DoLE’s regional offices, will be allowed to continue their operations.

“All certificates of registration of contractors/subcontractors issued prior to this order shall be respected,” Labor and Employment Silvestre Bello assured in the one-page issuance, which took effect last Monday.

However, Bello said registered labor contractors may still have their licenses revoked for violating any government regulation by DoLE labor inspectors.

“Contracts entered into by duly contractors/subcontractors prior to the issuance of this Order shall not be impaired or diminished consistent with the provisions of the Labor Code, the Civil Code, and existing jurisprudence,” Bello said.

As long as labor contractors comply with this condition, DoLE said the DO will not affect their existing agreement with their contractual workers. (Samuel P. Medenilla)

“Nothing herein shall impair the rights or diminish the benefits being enjoyed by parties to existing contracting or subcontracting arrangements,” Bello said.

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod said the move is in compliance with President Duterte’s campaign promise of ending widespread contractual employment during his term.

“If we will accept new applicants, it will contradict the marching orders of the President…now that we are confined with those existing (contractors), it will be easier for us in conducting the necessary assessment,” Maglunsod said.

Maglunsod said their intensified inspection will not only target legitimate contractors but also fly-by-night third-party service providers.

He said they plan to pinpoint these erring companies with the help of concerned citizens and their stakeholders through the new hotline which they will soon launch.

“This will help us to locate those, which are not licensed. It will also help up in case some workers would like to report any violation committed by those, which are licensed,” Maglunsod said.

DoLE is targeting of reducing contractualization cases in the country by 50 percent before the end of the year. (Samuel P. Medenilla)