Bello: List of companies engaged in illegal contracting out by May 26

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Labor Department to release a list of companies engaged in illegal labor contracting, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said Wednesday.

"We just received an administrative order from the President directing our department to submit to him within 30 days the list of companies and business establishments violating this rule against illegal contractualization," Bello told CNN Philippines' News Night.

He said the order was issued on April 26, and will be due on May 26.

This comes in the wake of Duterte's issuance of an executive order clamping down on illegal contracting and subcontracting of workers.

Bello said the DOLE is looking at different establishments that may have violated the prohibition, which include malls, food chains, hospitals, hotels, and media networks.

The Labor Secretary said violators will be punished, although he did not specify the penalty.

He said they will regularize employees of violating companies.

"This administrative order shows how serious the President is in implementing this rule against illegal contractualization, kasi yan ang complaint ng mga manggagawa (because that's what the workers complain about)," Bello said.

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, a manpower agency that supplies security guards to companies - that does not have substantial capital or investments in tools and supervision.

Bello also 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 are not entitled to regular benefits.

"Endo" has been somewhat banned in Labor Department Order 174 issued in 2017. Under the section on "other ellicit 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."