​Duterte promises to end contractualization anew on Labor Day

May. 02, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures in a speech during the Labor Day Celebration organized by the Department of Labor and Employment at the People’s Park in Davao City on Monday, April 1. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has taken another step closer towards accomplishing one of his biggest campaign promises.

On Monday, during the Labor Day celebration organized by the Department of Labor and Employment at the People’s Park here, Duterte announced that he is signing an executive order “directing the strict implementation of existing laws against (the end of contract scheme) and labor only contracting.”

Duterte however, asked for more time, saying that they (DOLE) are still on the task of “making adjustments.”

“But I said, and I say now, I stand firm in my conviction to end endo. The labor code guarantees all workers the rights to security of tenure.This has to be strictly enforced,” he said.  “Panahon lang” (Just give me time).

The creation of an EO banning all forms of contractualization is one of the longstanding suggestions from labor groups, given DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s pronouncements that endo can only be eliminated fully in congress.

Bello has come under fire from labor groups such as the Kilusang Mayo Uno and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines for saying that the law “allows” contractualization.

In previous news reports, Bello said the DOLE can only regulate, but not eliminate all forms of labor contracting.

Bello’s suggestion, which he dubbed the “win-win solution,” proposed that laborers would be regularized by the manpower agencies in order to accord them with benefits. This was widely rejected by labor groups.

Duterte defended his labor secretary, saying that Bello is sometimes to put to task “unfairly.”

Noting the lack of manpower in DOLE, Duterte also revealed that he is ordering the DOLE to deputize labor inspectors from trade unions in the country.

“Ang ako lang giingon sa inyong mga representative, when you make the report, tell me the truth ayaw ko bakaki. Kasi baka I will adopt your reports, mapahiya ako, then there is something wrong in our relationship” (I told your representatives that when you make the report, tell me the truth and do not lie to me. Because if I adopt your reports but get embarrassed, then there is something wrong in our relationship), he said.

Meanwhile, the president also announced that he has decided to ratify the International Labor Organizations Convention 151, which protects the right of labor unions to organize and to engage in collective bargaining agreements.

The ILO C151, after being signed by the president as an international treaty, will be presented to the senate for concurrence. (davaotoday.com)

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