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Baldoz eyes labor reforms for security guards

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Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the agency is eyeing reforms to protect the rights and benefits of security guards.

“We are now solidifying the guidelines towards voluntary compliance of security agencies with general labor standards to ensure social welfare and protection of security guards,” she said.

Baldoz said the first step is to address the perennial problem of cut-throat competition among private security agencies (PSAs).

“The DOLE has already established a partnership with PADPAO. This partnership, hopefully, will result to an extensive action plan to strengthen the implementation of the Private Security Agency Law (RA 5487) to ensure that minimum rates prescribed by law for standard salaries and benefits for security guards will not be compromised by any form of undercutting practices,” Baldoz said.

During the meeting, Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO) President Ramon Bergado said the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) rules should be amended and must include a provision on agency fees or administrative expenses.

“This is to set a reasonable cap to prevent the undercutting of contract rates during public bidding,” he said.

The government is one of the largest procurers of security services from PSAs.

With the agency fee cap lacking on the GPPB rules, some security agencies offer bids way below the mandated contract rate by reducing the agency fee from 25 percent to a minimum of two percent.

“This “race-to-the-bottom” practice is detrimental to security guards. With a benchmark on the agency fee or administrative overhead, which is part of the security contract, we are setting a standardized baseline and lowest possible rate in any security services bidding, be it a government or a non-government client," Baldoz said.

She said the DOLE will meet with PADPAO and the Department of Budget and Management once the proposed amendments to the GPPB guidelines are finalized.

By PNA/PIA9-ZBST




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