Labor undersecretary resigns, denies promanagement raps
Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say has resigned apparently to spare Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III the trouble of fending off accusations that he sided with employers in the debate over contractualization.
“I’m not promanagement. Let me clarify that. I was mistaken to be one and this has been affecting Secretary Bello. He was being criticized,” Say said in an interview with reporters.
“I also have friends in the labor sector,” he added.
Say, who was labor undersecretary for policy, employment and regional operations, said he encountered difficulties on his job.
‘Sticking with legalities’
“I’m a lawyer so when I design policies I stick with legalities,” he said.
Say noted that the law allowed contracting. “There is no question about it. If you read the law, it is there.”
He said his friends in the labor sector were not disputing that. “But they said the same law provides that the secretary of labor has the power and prerogative to stop contracting. But that is not the interpretation.”
Say explained that sometimes he was perceived to be siding with management because of the way he presented his views.
He lamented that some sectors perceived Bello as promanagement because the labor secretary was very “soft” toward employers.
“Some people are saying that because of the policies we implement. So to spare him from the unwanted attention and unwarranted imputations, I just decided to step back and give the secretary the elbow room to choose somebody who could deliver it better than I can,” Say said.
He said Bello would not have compelled employers to regularize 300,000 workers for this year if the labor department were promanagement.
“Even if contracting is legal, he (Bello) was asking us to work on the regularization of workers. And 300,000 is not a small number. As of February, around 140,000 had already been regularized,” he said.
Say said he first told Bello in January that he wanted to resign but the latter merely shrugged it off and told him not to mind the intrigues.
He said he submitted his resignation letter to Bello and President Duterte last month but it was received by Malacañang only on Tuesday. —Tina G. Santos
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.