by Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan Mar 20 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment in Isabela recently gathered private company employers and labor unions that comprise the City Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) for a learning session on ENDO or the end-of-contract practice.

Atty. Verna B. Kate Santos, Med.-Arbiter of DOLE-IX explained the salient features of Department Order No. 18-A that involves contracting or sub-contracting, which refers to an arrangement whereby a principal or user enterprise farms out the performance or completion of a specific job, work or service of its business to a third party within a definite or predetermined period.

However, she warned against contractors that employ labor-only contracting because this is where the abuse usually occurs.

“In legitimate contracting, there exists a trilateral relationship under which there is a contract for a specific job, work, service between the principal and the contractor or subcontractor, and a contract of employment between the contractor or subcontractor and its workers,” she said.

According to labor advisory No. 10, series of 2016, labor-only contracting exists when any of the following elements are present: (1) the contractor or subcontractor does not have substantial capital or investment which relates to the job, work or service to be performed and the employees recruited, supplied, or placed by such contractor or subcontractor are performing activities which are directly related to the main business of the principal; and (2) the contractor does not exercise the right to control over the performance of the work of the contractual employee.

In view of this, DOLE announced the suspension of registration of new applicants as contractors or subcontractors under Department Order No. 18-A.

Moreover, Atty. Santos stressed the prohibited acts under DO 18-A. They include contracting out of a job, work, services not done in good faith, not justified by the exigencies of the business and resulted in the termination of regular employees; contracting out of work with a “Cabo” or an agent with no legal personality, taking undue advantage of the economic situation or lack of bargaining strength of contractual employee, undermining his security of tenure or basic rights, by committing the following acts:

(a)          Requiring the contractual employee to perform additional function that is being performed by a regular employee;

(b)          Requiring him to sign an antedated resignation letter, a blank payroll, a waiver of labor standards including minimum wages and social welfare benefits, quitclaims;

(c)          Requiring him to sign a contract fixing the period of employment to a term shorter than the term of the contract between the principal and the contractor, unless the same is divisible by phases and this is discussed with the employee;

(d)         Contracting out of a job, work or services through an in-house agency;

(e)          Contracting out of a job, work or service directly related to the business or operation of the principal by reason of strike or lockout whether actual or imminent;

(f)     Contracting out of a job, work, or service being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights to self-organization.

Meanwhile, Engr. Wesley D. Tan, Isabela City labor chief underscored the importance of the TIPC to promote better employers-employees relationship. He added that the TIPC encourages and promotes the active participation of workers and employers in policy formulation and development.

“The constitution states the right of labor to the just share of the fruits of production and the right of enterprise to reasonable return of investments and to expansion and growth,” he said.

It is also during this orientation where the TIPC officers were reconstituted, composed of representatives from different private employers and employees’ unions, including some government agencies namely: PESO, SSS, DTI, PIA, PhilHealth, and public sector union, among others. (ALT/RVC/PIA9-Basilan)