28 October 2020
DOLE'S EXTENSION OF FLOATING STATUS ANTI-WORKER AND ILLEGAL
The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) vehemently condemned DOLE Secretary Bello's Department Order 215-20, which allows the extension of floating status for workers beyond the original 6 months stipulated in the Labor Code.
"This is yet another instance of the Duterte administration's utilization of the pandemic to prioritize the profits of capitalists over the rights and dignity of workers," BMP President Luke Espiritu said.
The labor lawyer added that, "D.O. 215 allows employers to minimize, if not totally circumvent, the payment of separation pay commensurate to the length of service employees have rendered. This measure blatantly eschews any recognition of the worsening conditions of Filipino workers under the pandemic."
BMP pointed out that D.O. 215 merely legitimizes an already rampant practice by employers since the pandemic began. According to the labor group, thousands of workers have been put under floating status since the first months of the pandemic.
They also averred that, like Sec. Bello's previous Labor Advisory 17 earlier this year, which enabled companies to reduce wages and benefits, D.O. 215 is prone to abuse by employers.
"There are no measures in place for the DOLE to verify if the extension of suspension is actually necessary for a company's survival. Employers merely have to notify DOLE of the extension 10 days prior to its effectivity. As such, D.O. 215 can be used as another tool for union-busting and other unfair labor practices," bared Espiritu.
BMP also underscored that D.O. 215 is blatantly illegal for it is only congress that has the power to amend the Labor Code, especially for an issue as damaging to the working class as this extension of floating status.
"We call on the Philippine working class and the organized labor movement to unite in struggle against this illegal anti-worker measure, as it did against the attempted delaying of 13th month pay," Espiritu concluded.
For reference, please contact: Luke Espiritu