MANILA - SM has committed to regularize 10,000 employees this year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday.
The country's largest mall operator "committed" to regularize 5,000 workers in the first semester and another 5,000 in the second semester, Bello told ANC's Headstart
Most of the workers who will be regularized are sales clerks, he said.
A 2016 inspection of the Department of Labor and Employment in SM stores in Metro Manila found that only 34,210 out of the company's 67,248 employees had regular status.
The other 18,720 workers were on probationary status, while 14,318 others were classified as "seasonal" workers, DOLE findings showed.
Bello said in the same ANC interview that contractualization could be allowed for seasonal or project-based work, such as Christmas when malls like SM need additional sales staff.
The company, owned by the country's wealthiest man Henry Sy, has 57 malls nationwide.
President Rodrigo Duterte, during his State of the Nation Address last Monday, urged Congress to pass a law that would "once and for all" end illegal contractualization.