Press Releases

Salceda seeks DOLE intervention on service contracting workers’ complaints; House tax panel says workers have not been paid for ten months by contracting companies

June 13th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) has requested the Department of Labor and Employment to intervene on complaints of workers under the Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board (LTFRB) Service Contracting Program, following allegations that service contracting companies are “cheating their workers” out of wages and benefits and are retrenching them retaliatorily for voicing out complaints.

“I have asked Secretary Bello to intervene on behalf of the workers. It appears quote clear to me that there is grounds for investigation for possible labor law violations,” Salceda said.

In a letter to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Salceda said that “The workers complain that they have not received proper compensation on time, and are not getting proper incentives for their services.”

“They also allege that some of them have been retrenched, possibly in retaliation for complaining,” Salceda also wrote.

Salceda attached to the complaint a signed statement from workers of ES Consortium at Mega Manila Consortium, stating that they have not been paid for ten months, and that onboarding incentives have not been granted to drivers and conductors.

“As you know, a working service contracting program is critical to ensure the success of the government’s efforts to control inflation in the transport sector. The trust and confidence of workers in the program is essential in ensuring that they participate and deliver their services in a satisfactory manner. Your urgent intervention on this matter is crucial,” Salceda wrote Bello.

In subsequent statements, Salceda said that “if the workers’ claims are true, it’s like the companies are trying to kill them with hunger. Ten months!”

Salceda also cited posts from social media users showing service contracting drivers begging passengers to pitch in some fare.

“The situation really looks desperate. And if these workers don’t go to work, we will have a bigger transport problem in our hands. Transport is already the leading cause of inflation. We don’t want the problem to get any worse,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that “of course, we will ask the LTFRB for a better system once the 2023 budget deliberations begin. There’s also a pending public transport subsidy promised by the Duterte administration to soften the impact of fuel price hikes. How can we be confident that it will be implemented well if there is always trouble with paying the workers and contractors.”

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