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Bello reinforces DOLE officers’ skills in determining ‘labor-only contracting’

MANILA, Philippines – To carry out the Department Labor and Employment’s national and regional action plans on eliminating ‘endo’ and other illegitimate forms of contracting, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has directed for the training of regional directors, technical service division chiefs, mediator-arbiters, and labor laws compliance officers (LLCO) in determining labor-only contracting (LOC). “Labor-only contracting, which is an arrangement where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies, or places workers to perform jobs, work or services for a principal, is prohibited,” Bello said.
Through a training workshop jointly implemented by the DOLE and the International Labor Organization, the participants undergo learning sessions on labor administration, labor inspection, joint assessment, as well as case analysis on contracting and subcontracting arrangements.
Senior officials from DOLE, headed by Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III, and Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod, together with Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, Legal Service Director Romeo M. Montefalco, Jr. National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Alex V. Avila, and Bureau of Working Conditions OIC Director Alvin B. Curada serve as resource speakers in the training-workshop. Bello said the capacity building activity prepares the labor laws compliance officers, under the supervision of DOLE regional directors, as well as other senior DOLE regional officers, in strictly implementing and enforcing the workers’ rights to security of tenure. They are also being trained to counter and stop practices that constitute ‘endo’ by identifying knowledge or policy gaps in the implementation of Department Order No. 18-A, or the rules and regulations on contracting and sub-contracting; studying different models of hiring practices in contracting arrangements; and in examining new and developing schemes in contractualization.
“Regional directors shall have authority to declare the existence of labor-only contracting between the contractors and subcontractors, and the principals. Workers of labor-only contractor/subcontractor are considered employees of the principals,” Bello said.
Through the training, it is also expected that accuracy in documenting contractors’ profiles and assessment results in labor laws compliance system management information service will be achieved. In support of President Duterte’s directive to eliminate ‘endo’ and other forms of illegitimate contracting, Bello has issued Labor Advisory No. 10, Series of 2016 prohibiting labor-only contracting.
The practice of labor-only contracting, according to the advisory, is deemed existent when the contractor or sub-contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machinery, work premises. It is also practiced when the workers recruited and placed by such person are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer.
DOLE’s capacity building program conducted in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao is expected to equip the labor laws compliance officers and senior regional officials to efficiently assess business establishments’ strict compliance to labor laws and ultimately support the target of abolishing ‘endo’ and other illegitimate forms of contracting in 2017.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.