Dole order contrary to Duterte’s promise vs ‘endo’ — labor group
A labor advocacy group condemned on Wednesday Department Order (DO) 174 issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, saying it was contrary to what President Rodrigo Duterte promised to end contractualization.
“This DO is a disservice to workers and all Filipinos. It continues the violation of workers’ right to security of tenure,” said Daisy Arago, executive director of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR).
“Labor groups and advocates spent a lot of time and effort in dialogues that yielded a united stand on the issue, only for the DOLE to come up with a DO that continues to legalize contractualization,” she added.
DO 174, which Bello signed last week, imposes a total ban on labor-only contracting, strictly regulates lawful contractual arrangements and outlaws the “endo” or end-of-contract scheme.
The Labor Law mandates that workers become regular employees after six months at work and are then given the mandated benefits and privileges.
Under the endo or 555 scheme, workers renew their contracts every five months so employers can avoid hiring them as regular employees.
Arago said DO 174 was no different from DO 18-A, which former president Benigno Aquino III issued. She claimed that DO 174 prohibited 11 forms of contractual work but allowed employers to continue hiring contractual workers.
The Department of Labor and Employment has said that under DO 174 workers will be hired as regular employees by manpower or manning agencies, which will ensure their benefits. These “regular” workers can be hired by employers or businesses on a contractual basis.
CTUHR expressed dismay over Bello’s statement that he could not totally abolish contractualization because the law allowed some forms of the practice. The secretary also said that only Congress could completely put an end to contractualization.
The group said the secretary was giving a lame excuse.
“This simply shows the lack of sincerity of the Dole and the Duterte administration. It is now clear to us that the promise to eradicate contractualization is a mere campaign promise which this administration is not planning to carry out,” Arago said.
“The DOLE’s so-called ‘industrial peace’ will never be about workers’ welfare so long as government policies continue to protect the interests of the capitalists and employers. It will remain to be a futile policy to pacify the growing clamor of workers for their rights and dignity,” she added.
Arago said that if the Duterte government was serious in bringing change to the lives of Filipino workers and people, it should end the “abusive” employment scheme.
“This is key to uplifting the lives and protecting the rights and dignity of workers,” she said. CBB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.