Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —TINA G. SAN­TOS

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 un­der- sec­re­tary 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.”

Man­age­ment bias?

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 pro-man­age­ment 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 pro-man­age­ment.

“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.

Dom­i­nador Say

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