Contractualization, lack of industries are causes of job losses in PH – KMU

Nov. 26, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The progressive labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) believes that the continued practice of labor contractualization as well as the country’s lack of basic industries are the real causes of the high unemployment in the Philippines.

KMU said this in a statement after the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released its latest survey conducted from Sept. 27-30 that said that unemployment in the country has increased from 20.7 percent on June to 21.5 percent in the third quarter of the year.

This means an estimated 10 million Filipinos are jobless, said SWS.

“Ten million unemployed Filipinos is one of the many illustrations of how underdeveloped our economy is. We do not have the industries to employ our people, and the government fails in securing jobs for Filipinos as it continues to implement contractualization in labor,” said KMU chairperson Elmer Labog.

The survey also reveals that 2.7 million lost their jobs when their contracts were no longer renewed by employers. Labor groups tag this practice as ‘endo’ or ‘end of contract.’

“Job security is a major issue among workers. A 21.5 percent rise in the number of jobless Filipinos means lost livelihood for millions of Filipino families. We have long called for an end to contractual labor in all forms, but President Duterte himself betrayed the workers when he turned around from his campaign promise to end contractualization,” said Labog.

KMU cited Duterte’s veto of the Security of Tenure Bill in the 17th Congress as an indicator that government is not inclined to change labor contractualization policy.

Going on strike

Workers who went on strike this year, including workers from companies such as Regent Food Corp., Nutri Asia, Pepmaco (makers of Champion detergent products), all raised the issue of contractualization as part of their demands.

“Workers are going on strike because they want to fight for regular work, because their jobs, their very source of livelihood is under threat,” said Labog. (

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