No more 'See No Endo': Bello vows to be strict

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2016 09:54 PM

Incoming Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III. AFP Photo

DOLE to go after agencies, companies who violate law

MANILA - Incoming Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he will work to end contractualization of workers in the country as promised by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

"Bakit mo iko-contract ang empleyado kung talagang kailangan 'yan ng kumpanya mo?" Bello said in an interview on DZMM.

Bello said he will go after companies who employ contractual employees even if the services of these workers are essential to the nature of the business.

"'Yung contractualization issue, hindi naman mahirap 'yun eh kasi meron naman tayong existing na anti-contractualization law eh. It is just a matter of implementing it strictly," he said.

"Lalo na ngayon, kung mapapansin niyo, 'yung mga mata ng taga-DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment], nakapikit eh. Alam nilang may violation ng anti-contractualization law, wala silang ginagawa," he added.

According to Bello, the situation of people employed on a per-project basis is different from victims of unscrupulous employers and employment agencies.

"Halimbawa, isang empleyado, kukunin mo on probation, tapos after five months tatanggalin mo. Tapos after one month, ire-rehire mo, tapos after five months tatanggalin mo. That is also a circumvention of the law...'Yun 'yung mga talagang taliwas ang pag-iisip, 'yung talagang umiiwas sa kanilang obligasyon na gawin silang regular, para wala silang obligasyon na magbayad sila ng benepisyo," he said.

He added that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will also look into employment agencies to prevent abuses.

"First step is to look into the [employment] agency. 'Yung agency ba, talagang bona fide 'yan o branch lang nung main employer? Pangalawa, assuming na bona fide agency, kailangan 'yung agency should consider 'yung kanilang mga contractual as their employees, regular employees. Kasi ang nangyayari, 'yung mga employees na binibigay ng mga ahensiya, hindi nila nakukuha 'yung tamang sweldo nila dahil kinakaltasan nung ahensiya," Bello said.

Bello said business firms, both big and small, should follow the country's laws.

"Subukan natin. Pare-pareho naman ang tingin ko, maliit o malaking employer. Business, pare-pareho 'yan, may katungkulan sa ating batas."

READ: Duterte labor chief warns companies against contractualization

Bello also said he will implement a performance audit of all employees of DOLE to weed out those not fit for their job.

"In fact, meron na akong na-create na transition team and we're studying the complete structure of the department, 'yung performance nila. After we assume, kasi hindi pa naman tayo pwedeng makialam, after we assume po, we will conduct a performance audit of all the employees of the department. Kasi marami kaming natatanggap na report, lalo na 'yung mga labor attaches natin sa abroad."

PEACE TALKS WITH NDF

Meanwhile, Bello, along with incoming Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, left for Oslo, Norway to meet with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison to convince him to resume the peace talks with the government.

"Alam niyo naman na 'yung talks between the NDF [National Democratic Front] and our government has been suspended. So, ang aming priority objective diyan is to convince them to go back to the peace table, for them to agree to the formal resumption of the peace negotiation," Bello said.

He added that they will try to convince Sison to go back to the Philippines.

"'Yun po sana, ma-convince namin siya na bumalik na siya at dito na sa Pilipinas pag-usapan 'yung paano natin matapos itong four-decade old na insurgency problem," he said.

Bello said they hope to finish negotiations with Sison in two days, but they are willing to stay longer in Oslo if needed.