MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) received an additional P15-million budget to hire more labor law compliance officers (LLCOs) to boost the government's drive against labor-only contracting.
The Department of Budget and Management granted DOLE's request for more manpower, opening 36 new senior LLCO positions.
Currently, there are only 574 LLCOs inspecting 936,554 business establishments across the country.
"These new positions will augment our current corps of labor inspectors in the assessment and inspection of business establishments in the country, particularly on their compliance with Department Order 174," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
In March, DOLE released DO 174, which imposed stricter guidelines in regulating labor-only contracting.
LLCOs should also oversee the implementation of occupational health and safety standards and spearhead programs to raise awareness on labor laws among employers and employees.
Senior LLCOs have a Salary Grade 19 compensation, which is equal to P39,151 under the 2016 Salary Standardization Law.
Civil Service Commission standards require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, preferably in mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering, or nursing. Law degree holders are also encouraged to apply.
DOLE will also request budget for an additional 200 inspection officer posts in the next round of budget deliberations.
Aside from these, Bello earlier said they will also allow labor union leaders to be trained and deputized as inspectors.
DOLE has so far regularized over 40,000 workers contracted directly by their employers. The implementation of DO 174 is seen to be the key to the regularization of workers under contract with third party manpower agencies.
The new order, replacing Department Order 18-A, has met opposition from labor unions who said it was a mere reiteration of its predecessor and does not end contractualization.
Labor groups are instead calling for the complete abolition of any form of time-bound work.
Under the Labor Code of the Philippines, labor-only contracting or the hiring of labor on a contract basis is illegal. Started under the administration of then President Ferdinand Marcos to generate more employment, the practice has since been common among employers who want to cut cost by not having to shoulder additional benefits for their employers.