Palace saddened by CA decision vs PLDT workers: We are for their regularization

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — The Palace has sided with the workers of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) after the Court of Appeals (CA) blocked the regularization order issued by the Labor Department.

"Ang desisyon ng DOLE ay desisyon ng executive. Siyempre nalulungkot kami na binaliktad ng CA ang desisyon. We are for the regularization of the workers of PLDT," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday.

The CA in its ruling said only workers of contractors performing installation, repairs, and maintenance services of PLDT lines should be considered regular employees. It maintained the workers of contractors engaged in janitorial, messengerial and clerical, information technology, call center agents, sales, and even medical and dental, and other professional services should remain as independent contractors.

In June, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision declaring the 7,344 workers as employees of PLDT and not of a contracting company was final and executory. In July, the Labor Department reminded the telco to comply, and gave the company until the end of the month to regularize its workers.

PLDT filed a petition before the CA, questioning the Labor Department's directive to regularize workers, which led to the July 31 CA ruling.

PLDT, in a statement sent on Monday, said the company and its legal counsel are studying the Court of Appeals decision to determine the its appropriate next steps.

"Endo" or "end of contract" is a highly-contested form of contractualization widely practiced in the country — workers are hired for not more than five months, so employers won't have to regularize them on the sixth month, as mandated by the Labor Code. It strips millions of workers of all the benefits granted by law to regular employees.

Senator Joel Villanueva filed a resolution on July 31, seeking to conduct an inquiry on issues arising from the regularization of NutriAsia, PLDT, Jollibee, and Monde Nissin employees.