PLDT says Bello claim on contractor ownership 'fabricated'

MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunications giant PLDT Incorporated on Thursday, July 12, branded as "baseless and fabricated" claims by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that its executives owned the agencies providing the company contractual labor.

Bello said in a press briefing on Wednesday, July 11, that many of PLDT's contracting agencies are "owned" by the telco's executives. He said, "This probably explains why they are trying to delay, because it will cause loss of income in the part of these executives because it's a business."

The labor secretary told Radyo Inquirer that he sought the help of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.

In a statement, PLDT said the contractors are "bona fide corporations properly registered with DOLE and SEC." It added: "They are legitimately providing services to many other companies aside from PLDT. None of these are owned or managed by PLDT officials."

PLDT said that they welcome any investigation into the allegation as "the company has nothing to hide."

DOLE issued a clarificatory order on Wednesday that PLDT should "automatically" place more than 7,300 workers from 38 contractors in regular positions.

Bello warned that PLDT may face legal consequences if they continue to delay the regularization process.

DOLE had found that 38 of PLDT's service contractors are engaging in labor-only contracting schemes. This means that the services provided by the workers are key functions of the company.

Last June, the labor department tagged PLDT as among the top companies with illegal contracting practices, affecting over 8,000 workers. –

Aika Rey

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