PLDT denies defying DOLE order to regularize 7,300 workers
MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated denied defying the order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the telecommunications giant to regularize 7,300 employees.
In a statement on Thursday, July 26, PLDT decried the issuance of a clarificatory order wherein DOLE somehow threatened PLDT with legal action should it fails to execute the regularization order.
"If this is the conclusion of the clarificatory order or this Honorable Office, then, with due respect, it is wrong. PLDT has not taken any act to 'frustrate or tend to frustrate' this Honorable Office’s regularization orders," PLDT said.
DOLE issued a clarificatory order on July 11, affirming its earlier regularization order, on the ground that any act or condition by PLDT that "frustrates or tends to frustrate" the regularization process "shall be dealt [with] in accordance to law."
The order was released after DOLE met with PLDT labor union Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas (MKP). The telco giant was not represented in the meeting.
PLDT said it was "not given the chance to be properly heard" by DOLE, prior to the issuance of the clarificatory order. It "did not receive a notice" calling its representative to the meeting.
"Regretfully, because the clarificatory order was issued immediately after this meeting with the MKP, it cannot escape the impression that the Order is based entirely on a factual position advocated by the MKP which is inaccurate and misleading," PLDT said.
"In all candor, these circumstances also increase PLDT’s concern that it will not receive a fair hearing on this matter before this Honorable Office," it added.
The telco giant denied it was laying off employees after the January order to regularize more than 7,300 workers from 38 contractors. PLDT filed a motion for reconsideration, but this was denied by DOLE in April.
PLDT said it does not require the affected workers to "apply" for employment, contrary to the claims of the labor union. It added DOLE "failed" to ask them about their regularization process as well.
Labor officials earlier accused PLDT of "trying to go around the law" by delaying the placement of the affected workers in permanent positions.
PLDT said their process include identifying the affected workers based on the list from DOLE, and validating who they are. They also ask for necessary employment information and medical exams as part of the office's benefit program.
"The process also asks the workers to provide information relevant to employment, such as his Social Security, Philhealth, Pag-IBIG, and tax identification number details, in a manner compliant with the data privacy law," the statement said.
PLDT said allegations against its regularization process come from those "who have not participated in it," and called on MKP to stop discouraging the affected workers from undergoing the right process.
"Any order finding PLDT liable for alleged 'contumacious' actions, if based on such defective evidence or factual bases, 'is regretfully an unjust judgement.' PLDT reserves the right to take corresponding legal steps to assail such an order," they said.
Aside from placing employees in permanent positions, PLDT was also ordered to give around 2,000 workers monetary benefits totaling P51.6 million.
Last June, DOLE tagged PLDT as among the top companies with illegal contracting practices, with over 8,000 affected workers.
In 2017, DOLE also ordered PLDT and its contractors to regularize close to 10,000 employeesand settle P66 million in unpaid benefits. – Rappler.com