SM regularizes 11,660 workers in 2018 – DOLE

MANILA, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday, December 17, announced that the Henry Sy-owned SM Supermalls has regularized 11,660 workers this year.

In a press briefing, Bello explained that the workers included in SM's regularization program used to be contractual employees under manpower agencies.

The workers were regularized from January to September 2018.

"We are expecting more workers regularized when the last quarter report comes in," Bello said.

According to the labor chief, some 4,800 SM workers based in Metro Manila were regularized, followed by Calabarzon with 2,865 workers, and Mimaropa with 1,476 workers. The rest came from other regions.

Back in May, Bello had said that SM committed to place at least 10,000 workers in permanent positions.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) intensified labor law compliance inspections this year. It came up with a list of companies engaging in labor-only contracting, which included Jollibee and PLDT.

SM was not part of that list.

Meanwhile, fast-food giant Jollibee has regularized some 1,000 workers this year and has committed more for next year.

"Our response was they should regularize more than 1,000 workers because DOLE expects more from you. They said they will do more next year to accommodate the request of the workers and the DOLE," Bello said.

According to DOLE, a total of 411,449 workers have been regularized this year.

Of the total, Bello said about 65% were regularized due to voluntary commitments of employers, while the rest were a result of compliance orders by the department.

Under Department Order (DO) No. 174, DOLE treats contractors which do not have substantial capital for tools or work premises as labor-only contractors.

DOLE prohibits direct supervision by the principal company over agency workers, as well as requiring agency workers to perform jobs being done by regular employees of the principal company. (READ: Keeping 'endo' alive: DOLE's Department Order No. 174– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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