DOLE Seeks Funding to Employ Additional Labor Inspectors
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) requires more funding to employ additional labor inspectors after more than 500,000 employees in the private sector achieved regularization status. According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the labor agency requests for more inspectors to cover “more than 900,000 establishments nationwide.
“Gusto man namin na ma-inspect lahat ng businessmen, wala kaming kakayahan (Although we want to inspect every establishment, we don’t have the resources to do so). I hope you can give us support in terms of law compliance offers. Otherwise, we will continue to be inutile in terms of inspection.” Bello said during the budget briefing with the House Appropriations Committee on September 4, 2019.
The labor secretary mentioned that DOLE granted contractualization to more than 500,000 contractual employees from August 2016 to July 2019. 65% of the individuals achieved regularization through voluntary compliance while 35% acquired regularization after the release of compliance orders. However, Bello felt that the results are still insufficient.
“Compared to the number of unregularized employees, malaki talaga ang pagkukulang. Malaki pa. (There are other employees who still have to achieve regularization).
DOLE’s Request for Labor Inspectors to Also Check POGO Establishments
Along with his request for an increase in labor inspectors, Bello’s plead to employ more inspection personnel may also cover the sudden rise of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the country. Bello said they will require more employees to monitor over 900,000 POGOs.
“We are supposed to inspect 900,000 or more business establishments nationwide, and we only have 710 labor law compliance officers or inspectors. We requested for a plantilla position for 5000 (inspectors). They only gave us an additional 100,” Bello said during the budget briefing.
“We have to admit our limitation in terms of inspection. As much as we want to inspect all establishments all over the country to see to it that they comply with all labor laws and standards, physically it has become very impossible,” he added.
Bello also states the labor and employment agency now has an additional responsibility of checking the POGO’s operations by checking thousands of POGO personnel and their eligibility to work in the country.
He also states the agency’s mandate to make sure they are not depriving Filipinos of job opportunities in favor of foreign workers, especially if the Filipino can render the tasks at hand.
“Kung kaya ng Pilipino yung trabaho (If the Filipino can do the job), we will not give an AEP (Alien Employment Permit),” he said.