Government inks contractualization rules

Instead of totally abolishing contracting and outsourcing work, the Philippine government has signed Department Order 174, which lays out rules on contractualization. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said he has not the power to abolish contractual work, as has been demanded by various workers’ groups. Department Order 174 bans a number of practices, such as labor-only contracting and outsourcing work due to a strike. It also prohibits employers from making their workers sign agreements like post-dated resignation letters and waivers for minimum wage and welfare benefits. All other practices designed to circumvent the law and withhold workers’ rights are also banned. The order still recognizes manpower agencies as long as they are registered every two years and put up a capital of P5 million.