MANILA — Over 400,000 contractual workers have been given permanent employment as part of the anti-“endo” campaign of the government, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that from January to December 3, a total of 411,449 private sector employees were regularized by their employers.
“I know it is still low, percentage wise, considering the number of contractual workers in the country,” Bello said in statement.
“But that 400,000 plus figure is unprecedented in our country. Never in history has that number been achieved,” the DOLE chief added.
Bello noted 65 percent of the figure have been regularized due to the voluntary compliance of the private companies.
While the remaining 35 percent were given regular employment statuses as a result of the issuance of compliance orders.
Of the number, he said some 11,660 are workers from the SM malls chain. They have been regularized this year as of the end of the third quarter.
“It could even be higher if we include the last quarter of the year,” Bello added.
SM malls in the National Capital Region (NCR) had the most number of regularized workers with 4,800; followed by those in Calabarzon with 2,865; and those in Mimaropa with 1,476.
Meanwhile, Bello also reported that the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) has promised to regularize all their workers.
“ECOP said all its members will regularize all their employees. We are just waiting for their timeline,” he said.
In turn, the DOLE offered ECOP members to be exempted from the regular labor inspection activities.
“I offered to waive the inspection of their members unless, of course, there is a complaint filed against them,” Bello added. (PNA)
MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday announced that the PHP25 increase in the minimum wage for workers in Metro Manila will take effect on November 22.
In a press briefing, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the latest salary increase of National Capital Region (NCR) employees will be effective 15 days after the order has been published in a newspaper of general circulation.
“It will take effect in November 22, it was published on November 7,” he said.
At the same time, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NPWC) clarified reports that the effectivity of the Order is on Nov. 22 and not Nov. 27 as earlier reported.
On Nov. 5, the DOLE reported that the Regional Tripartite Productivity and Wages Board (RTPWB)-NCR has approved the wage increase for minimum wage in the private sector.
The increase makes the minimum salary from PHP512 to PHP537.
According to Wage Order No. NCR-22, the salary adjustment covers non-agriculture workers and those in the retail/service establishments.
For those who are employing 15 workers or less, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers, the new minimum wage rate would be PHP500 from the current PHP475. (PNA)
The growing presence of thousands of Chinese workers in the Philippines has become a cause of concern for some Filipinos, even as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) defended issuing half of all Alien Employment permits (AEPs) to these Chinese nationals.
According to a Tuesday report on GMA News TV program “State of the Nation with Jessica Soho”, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had revealed during a recent budget hearing that around 25,000 of over 40,000 AEPs issued in the last two years were given to Chinese workers.
Grilled on the possible impact this would have on employment opportunities for Filipinos, Bello explained, “They will only issue these permits to foreigners if the foreigner performs a job that cannot be performed by a Filipino citizen.”
The Bureau of Immigration (BI), for its part, said it was intent on cracking down on all illegal aliens regardless of their nationality.
“Not just Chinese but also other nationals coming to the country,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said. “Nakikita po natin, ‘yung iba sa kanila, nag-convert to working visa. ‘Yung mga nakukuha nating reports na illegal workers, tinutugis po ‘yan.”
‘Cause of concern’
However, for filmmaker Mark Meily found the matter troubling.
“It’s a cause of concern because we are in a situation where our sovereignty ng Philippines is being challenged,” Meily explained.
“Normally kasi, if you see a lot of foreigners, a lot of Chinese, I am not alarmed. But, obviously, these people are not here as tourists… and then they are not investors.”
Meily added that he did not believe that these Chinese expats were creating business that would offer employment to Filipinos. “Hindi ito nag-e-Airbnb. Ito ‘yung makikita mong naka-tsinelas, naka-short, very, very casual,” he argued.
Meily said the strong presence of Chinese nationals in the country had rapidly become noticeable in other aspects of society, as well.
“Pagpasok ko, merong mga grupo ng customers and they are smoking. This is Makati ha, so bawal doon mag-smoke sa public places. They don’t speak Filipino and then, later on, ang dami,” he said.
“This happened in a span of a year, ang dami na sa Yakal na mga restaurants, businesses, na walang English or Filipino signs,” he added.
Meily also noted that the proliferation of movie posters and advertisements bearing only Chinese characters.
“Obviously, they are catering to a specific market,” he said. — Margaret Claire Layug/DVM, GMA News