DOLE appeals CA ruling vs PLDT regularization order
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to reconsider its decision nullifying the order issued to the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to regularize 7,344 workers hired by under the labor-only contract scheme.
In a 59-page partial motion for reconsideration filed through Solicitor General Jose Calida, DOLE said PLDT committed illegal practice of labor-only contracting.
Calida pointed out that DOLE issued the regularization order in a fair manner based on the documents presented to them.
Among the evidence considered by the DOLE were inspectors’ interviews, payrolls, payslips, proof of payment, position papers, rosters of workers, employees manuals, company rules, release and quitclaims, contracts of employment, service agreements, correspondences, affidavits, bank transaction receipts and other employment records.
“Public respondent did not, contrary to this Honorable Court’s ruling, take mere allegations and unfounded conclusions of law at face value and fail to exercise his own discretion,” Calida said.
He pointed out that the DOLE “critically examined the case for each and every contractor involved, as well as PLDT itself, through both appeals and the motions for reconsideration. There is nothing to show that public respondent [Labor Secretary Silvestre BelloIII] made his findings arbitrarily or in a despotic manner.”
Crucial to business operations
Calida also noted that the services outsourced by PLDT were crucial to their business operations.
DOLE considered the “direct relation of the contractors’ activities to the main business operations of PLDT,” he said.
Based on documentary evidence, Calida said labor-only contractors only served as mere agents of PLDT because of their lack of independent business.
Evidence also showed that PLDT has right the means and manner by which the contracted workers perform their duties.
“At any rate, the services that these companies provide PLDT, which include IT and call handling services, are directly related, if not indispensable to PLDT’s main business,” he pointed out.
P51.6-M monetary awards
Calida also defended the labor department’s computation of the monetary awards for the workers amounting to P51.6 million.
“The computation of the monetary awards in the assailed resolutions is by no means arbitrary because public respondent subjected it to layers of painstaking review based on the substantial evidence at hand,” it said.
“Public respondent (DOLE) arrived at this findings not with grave abuse of discretion, or through sweeping generalizations, but by arduously examining the totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding the relationship between PLDT and its individual contractors, as borne by the evidence on record,” the solicitor general argued in the appeal.
The Solicitor General also maintained that there was no grave abuse of discretion in issuing the regularization order, contrary to the findings of the appellate court because the PLDT was given ample opportunity to present its side. /vvp
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