Press Release
July 31, 2018

Villanueva wants probe on PLDT, NutriAsia labor issues

Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, on Tuesday filed a resolution seeking to conduct an inquiry on the issues arising from the regularization of PLDT and NutriAsia employees to address gaps through legislation or policy review.

The senator sought the inquiry in relation to the persistent enforcement and compliance issues in PLDT, NutriAsia, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Uni-Pak sardines, Monde Nissin, Middleby Phils. Corp., among others, despite the issuance of orders of regularization by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Under Senate Resolution No. 810, Villanueva wants to look into the case of PLDT which has not yet implemented the executory order of the DOLE to regularize the 7,309 contractor's workers and to pay 2,074 of its workers the total amount of P51,801,729.

"It would do good to the image of PLDT, a major telco company, to already start the regularization process of more than 7,000 workers ordered to be regularized by the DOLE. To continue the legal maneuverings and conditionalities would only create a negative corporate image of PLDT being a violator of labor laws," Villanueva said.

In the case of NutriAsia, Villanueva wants to scrutinize the finding by the DOLE inspectors saying that NutriAsia engages in labor-only contracting.

NutriAsia recently made headlines after the violent dispersal of its workers who went on strike at the factory in Marilao, Bulacan. The workers were on strike for 12 days to protest alleged labor-only contracting, low wages, and poor working conditions. They also called for the reinstatement of dismissed union leaders.

Yesterday, another violent dispersal took place at NutriAsia's Bulacan plant following an ecumenical service for its 300 workers and supporters. At least 19 NutriAsia workers and supporters were also arrested.

"It is regrettable that the NutriAsia case rooted on contractualization and its abuses, has to drag and result in termination of workers, violent dispersals of picket lines, injuries and arrests of workers. It would serve the best interests of labor and capital to resolve this dispute peacefully and expeditiously," the senator stressed.

"PLDT and NutriAsia are the more prominent cases on enforcement and compliance issues, and there are more cases of similar nature all over the country. We need to investigate because these cases highlight the weaknesses of our current regulatory framework. They emphasize the need for the Security of Tenure Bill that we are going to deliberate in the Senate floor in the coming weeks," Villanueva said.

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