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US firm opposes 'endo' fines.

Semiconductor giant Texas Instruments Philippines Inc. (Tipi) has opposed measures that would penalize firms which hire contractual workers for a limited duration.

'We believe that contractualization essentially provides us flexibility to manage our manpower, given the nature of some technology products which have short life cycles,' lawyer Deo Angelo Cabreros, legal counsel of Tipi, said during a public hearing conducted here on Dec. 9 by the House committee on labor and employment.

'Why criminalize [the act of hiring contractors]? These give jobs,' said Cabreros, who delivered the position of Tipi and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (Seipi).

The public hearing, the first to be conducted on issues on the security of tenure of workers, involved 21 House measures seeking to reduce or eliminate all forms of job contractualization.

One of the measures, filed by Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, is an 'anti-contractualization bill,' which cites conclusions made by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) that 'the use of contract labor undermines decent work and cuts labor costs.'

The ILRF said 'the entire framework of labor laws is based on permanent employer-employee relationships.'

Baguio Rep. Mark Go, a committee member, said some measures have provisions that punish companies which maintain irregular workers for more than six months.

But Cagayan Rep. Randolph Ting, committee chair, assured Tipi that the committee would penalize those violating labor laws, not those hiring job contractors.

Cabreros said Tipi hires manpower firms to provide them security guards, janitors and maintenance personnel, whose services are not part of the company's core business.

'We cannot create a training team for gardeners for guards for maintenance [men], if we completely ban contractualization,' he said.

Ting and members of his committee asked Cabreros to provide them details about Tipi's manpower, but he said he did not have the data.

'We are not requiring that all work be regularized. What we are trying to address is the circumvention of the [labor] law We don't want [to pass] an anarchic law making all job contractors regular employees,' Casilao said.

Tipi said it favors a measure filed by Go that seeks to regulate 'job-only contracting,' now redefined as 'labor outsourcing.'

Go, a former human resources director of Tipi in Baguio City, said his proposed measure would allow the outsourcing of workers but would also set a cap. So a company hiring temporary workers may only get the equivalent of 20 percent of its total workforce, he said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 13, 2016
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