CA junks order for PLDT to regularize 7K workers
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has managed to get relief from the Court of Appeals, which nullified an order from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the company to regularize 7, 344 workers that it hired from third-party contractors.
In its ruling. dated July 31, 2018, but made public only on Monday, the appeals court’s 10th Division, through Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, nullified the resolution issued by DOLE last January requiring PLDT to regularize workers involved in the following: business process outsourcing (BPO); services, information technology (IT) services; IT support services and applications development; janitorial, messengerial and clerical services; back office support and office operations;sales; medical, dental, engineering and other professional services.
The court said it could not find any concrete evidence that the more than 7,000 workers should be regularized.
It noted that, in coming up with the order, records had shown that DOLE’s regional director “heavily relied” on the interviews of some employees and then applied them to all other workers and employees who were not actually interviewed.
“It is highly conjectural, if not purely speculative, to consider the individual circumstances of some workers who were interviewed to be exactly similar to the factual circumstances pertaining to the other contractors’ workers,” the appeals court said.
“Such findings cannot constitute the substantial evidence required to prove the existence of employer-employee relationship or labor-only contracting,” the court added.
The court added that PLDT did not violate any law when it decided not to regularize the BPO and IT support personnel.
It noted that DOLE Department Circular No. 1, series of 2017, actually exempted such services from the coverage of Department Order No. 174, which defined labor-only contracting.
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