PLDT begins validating employees for regularization

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — Telecommunications company PLDT is moving to comply with the Labor Department's order against illegal contractualization. It began the process on Friday by validating its employees for regularization.

PLDT employees gathered on Friday outside its office along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City, taking up half of the street as they awaited processing.

"This is needed first of all to validate their identities and to fulfill other needs such as medical and physical examinations," PLDT spokesperson Ramon Isberto said in a statement. He added concerned individuals have to fill out a personal information sheet on printed or online form.

PLDT, however, clarified it is still seeking a review of the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) order, as its appeal is pending in the Court of Appeals.

In a statement released on May 2, PLDT said: "Certain aspects of the decision were inconsistent with applicable law, jurisprudence, and the documentary and testimonial evidence presented to the DOLE Secretary."

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello earlier named PLDT as one of 3,337 companies that allegedly practice illegal contracting.

The initial list came in the wake of President Rodrigo Duterte's issuance of an executive order a month ago, clamping down on illegal contracting and subcontracting of workers.

Labor-only contracting or contractualization is already prohibited in the Labor Code and DOLE order 174, or the implementing rules on three articles of the Code.

Contractualization refers to the outsourcing of work that is essential or a key role in a business operation.

It also refers to the hiring of employees from a contracting agency. For example, companies that do not have substantial capital or investments in tools and supervision outsource their security guards from a manpower agency.

Bello also previously said the common practice of "endo" or "555 hiring" scheme must stop. This is where companies release workers on their fifth month of service so they will not be entitled to regular benefits.

"Endo" has been banned in Labor Department Order 174 issued in 2017. Under the section on "other illicit forms of employment arrangements," one of the prohibited acts is "repeated hiring by the contractor/subcontractor of employees under an employment contract of short duration."