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Order to regularize workers should come from DOLE chief, says business group

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The order to regularize workers should come from no less than the labor chief, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business group in the country, said.

This developed as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued an order to popular fast food chain Jollibee Foods Corp. to regularize close to 6,500 workers.

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The order, however, came from a regional director instead of from DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III. PCCI President Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco said this should not be the case.

“It must also be clarified that the only one who can issue such orders (regularization of subcontractors) is the DOLE Secretary. The regional director can only recommend,” she said in a mobile message to the Inquirer.

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“Once such recommendation is formally made to the DOLE Secretary, the affected company can have a platform to appeal and explain their side,” she added.

Nevertheless, the PCCI president said that the chamber was yet to come out with a formal statement on the issue “since we do not know the reason behind such order.”

Meanwhile, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) said that companies should not be forced to make an employee a regular worker.

AmCham senior adviser John Forbes said that companies should regularize qualified workers.

“There is an important role for contract workers in a modern economy. Companies should not be forced to make every employee a regular worker, but …companies [may] regularize employees who perform regular work over a long period time and who qualify for can [be given] a permanent job,” he told the Inquirer in a mobile message.

Other business groups, including the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, have not yet responded to requests for comment.

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TAGS: DOLE, jollibee, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, regularization, Silvestre Bello III
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