Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz yesterday echoed the call of workers for employers to comply with the minimum wage law and urged the employers to heed the clamor and do so.
“This is a feedback hard to ignore,” Baldoz said, citing a report of the DOLE Call Center showing that most of the workers who contacted the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) hotline have been inquiring about minimum wages and calling on employers to comply with the law.
An average of 238 workers contacted the DOLE each day from Monday to Saturday during the first six months of 2010.
Baldoz said that out of the average number of daily callers, 66% or 158 inquired on labor standards and social protection (LSP), particularly on the minimum wage law, wage distortion, and rules and regulations implementing wage orders.
She said employers have the moral responsibility to provide workers what is due them, not only in accordance with the law, but also in accordance with the principles of decency and uprightness.
“Employers who provide just wages and benefits gain more as their workers tend to be happy and, thus, more productive and efficient at work,” Baldoz said.
The DOLE Call Center, which is also called Serbisyong Magalang, Mahusay na Impormasyon sa Labor at Employment, or SMILE, reported a total of 37,134 callers from January to June this year. A total of 24,591, or an average of 158 daily, were callers inquiring on LSP particularly on minimum wage orders and their implementation. There were also queries on other labor standards, such as retirement pay and computation on holidays, rest day premium, overtime, and night differentials.
Other callers inquired on employment and manpower development, labor relations, and contact details of various DOLE offices, bureaus, and attached agencies.
Baldoz said the Call Center SMILE will be strengthened to serve more workers in line with the policy of President Benigno S. Aquino III directing government agencies to strengthen feedback and consultation with the people to enable the government to improve its services.
She said strengthening the call center is part of the DOLE’s efforts geared towards the attainment of the President’s 22-point labor and employment agenda.
The DOLE Call Center SMILE started operating in 2005 upon issuance of DOLE Administrative Order No. 152 to attend to calls from clients inquiring on labor and employment matters including queries on employment opportunities, locally and overseas.
It is manned by a composite group of nine selected employees from DOLE offices observing two shift schedules from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, including holidays.
Workers may call the DOLE Call Center Hotline 527-8000, DOLE 2917 from their Globe or TM cellphones, and 908-2917 from their Globe landline phones. All calls from Globe or TM cellphones and Globe landlines are free of charge nationwide.
The service is also open to non-Globe subscribers, who will be charged regular per minute call rates. Charges will also apply to callers from other networks.