Labor code amendment, repeal of TRAIN Law pushed
MANILA, Philippines – Labor Day demonstrators called for amendments to the Labor Code of the Philippines in order to put an end to contractualization and repeal of tax reform law.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada said the Labor Code must be amended as President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order to ban contractualization is not enough.
Labor groups have criticized the executive order signed by the President exactly one year today, saying it was a mere reiteration of the provisions of the Labor Code.
“Ang order ay galing sa Chief Executive [pero] di niya kaya baguhin yung batas at yung provision ng Labor Code ay vague ang mga salita pagdating sa kung sino ang regular employee,” Diokno told INQUIRER.net at the sidelines of a Labor Day rally at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.
“Ang solusyon diyan ay magsasabatas ang Kongreso. Ayusin at amyendahan ang Labor Code,” Diokno added.
“Hindi sapat ‘yung executive order dahil ang framework ng batas tungkol sa contractualization nasa Labor Code ‘yan. Importanteng balikan ang Labor Code. Dahil alam naman natin na ‘yung batas ay hindi nae-enforce ng husto, maraming loopholes na [pwede] gamitin [ng mga] negosyante na scrupulous,” Tañada told INQUIRER.net.
They were referring to Duterte’s 2018 Executive Order No. 51, aimed at ending the practice of contractualization.
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino chairman Leody de Guzman said the public was misinformed on the executive order, noting that it legalized contractualization instead of abolishing it.
“Baka nami-misinform ang publiko, ang EO na pinirmahan ni Duterte. Yung kanyang executive order 51 ay legalization ng contractualization dahil kinilala nila yung papel ng third party or manpower agency,” de Guzman told INQUIRER.net.
Diokno likewise asked the government to repeal the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law which increased prices of goods and services.
“Palagay ko repasuhin na natin ang TRAIN Law. Alisin na natin pansamantala ang excise tax dahil yun yung nagpapataas ng presyo ng bilihin,” Diokno said.
De Guzman said TRAIN Law is also hurting the salary of workers.
“Pero sila [workers] nagrereklamo sa bawat pagbili ng produkto nawala na rin ang kanilang naipon dahil napunta sa presyo ng produkto na kanilang binibili,” he said.
The Kabataan Partylist, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Partidong Manggagawa and Federation of Free Workers were among the groups that took part in Wednesday’s Labor Day rallies in Manila. /gsg
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