MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday said he denied PLDT's appeal to reverse the decision ordering the firm to regularize 7,000 employees.
The telecommunications company was given 10 days to take its plea to the Court of Appeals. Failure to do so would make this decision "final and executory," Bello told DZMM radio.
"Doon sa opisina ko dineny ko ang kanilang appeal at kinonfirm ko ang decision ng aming regional director," he said.
(In my office, I denied their appeal and I confirmed the decision of our regional director.)
Bello said workers whose tasks are "indispensable" to the company are entitled to become regular employees and receive benefits mandated by law.
"Kapag ang serbisyo ng empleyado ay core function o kaya’y indispensable to the function of the business, hindi mo puwedeng i-outsource 'yan," he said.
(When an employee is part of the core function or is indispensable to the function of the business, you cannot outsource.)
In a statement, PLDT earlier said "certain aspects of the decision were inconsistent with applicable law, jurisprudence and the documentary and testimonial evidence presented to the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Secretary."
On Friday, some 2,000 PLDT contractual employees trooped to its office in Mandaluyong City to demand the firm's compliance with the government's order.
The company is expected to appeal the decision before the appellate court.
The labor department is currently investigating 3,377 companies for labor-only contracting and is supposed to inspect 1 million business establishments nationwide.
Bello said the campaign against "endo" (end of contract) has spurred positive results including the move by SM, the biggest mall operator in the country, to regularize more than 4,000 employees. It promised to regularize 5,000 more by the end of the year, he said.
DOLE on Monday released a list of companies suspected to be involved in labor-only contracting including fast food chain operator Jollibee and the country's flag carrier Philippine Airlines.