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Militant labor group: Abolish contractualization of security guards

The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) on Tuesday called on for the abolishment of contracting security services for business establishments on the heels of the tragic Resorts World attack, which claimed 38 lives including that of the suspect.

In a statement on Tuesday, ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay argued that it is "high time to abolish contractualized hiring of security guards" to prevent grave security lapses, citing the Resorts World Manila incident on June 2.

“For security guards to render quality service, they should be in-house, directly hired by principal employers. Security guards should be regular employee of the principal business owner and not hired mere contractual,” Tanjusay said.

"Once they are directly hired, security guards will have more institutional loyalty, will receive less haphazard training, will be schooled not just in the handling of arms but in profiling, hand-to-hand combat, crowd management, and crowd control, which on the surface based on the tapes of Resort World were sorely lacking," he added.

The Philippine National Police-Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies on Monday started its probe on the attack at Resorts World Manila

The PNP-SOSIA met the operations manager and security personnel of NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency, which was hired to man the casino hotel.

"Security guards play a vital role in businesses. They secure important assets, very important people, and the first responders to natural and man-made crisis in establishments," Tanjusay said.

"Yet just like in the Resorts World Manila arrangement, security guards are regular employees by security agencies but they are contractual employee by principal business owners," he added.

The labor group's spokesperson also alleged that security guards are being abused by security agencies apart from having no security of tenure.

“They work more than 12 hours in one day. They are poorly trained. They are being paid poorly and given no social security insurance by their agencies. It is high time for business owners to directly hire security guards,” Tanjusay said.

Meanwhile, ALU Vice President Louie Corral urged President Rodrigo Duterte to order the Labor Law Compliance Officers (LLCO) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to conduct joint inspections with labor groups of hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, malls, airports, seaports, and high-tourist density areas to ensure compliance to public safety and labor regulations.

Corral said Duterte should ensure immediate passage of Senate Bill 1317 or "An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations thereof."

“The victims of smoke suffocation were hotel and casino guests and workers because of Resorts World’s lack of fire exits for workers and guests. To prevent this same grave incident, we are calling for inspection of other hotels and malls to ensure compliance with guests and workers’ safety,” Corral said. —John Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News