Presidential bets urged to bare plans on ending contractualization
A non-government organization on Monday said it welcomes the pronouncements of all five presidential candidates who vowed to end the labor contractualization scheme in the country.
The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Inc. (EILER), said in a statement that the fact that all the candidates spoke against “Endo” or end of contract showed “how bad contractualization is.”
“Labor contractualization is just so bad that no presidential bet wants to be in favor of it. We welcome this as recognition of the problem of short-term work in mainstream discussion,” Eiler executive director Anna Leah Escresa-Colina said.
The five candidates–Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, and former secretary Mar Roxas–were in Pangasinan on Sunday for the third and final government-sanctioned presidential debate.
Escresa-Colina said their organization will closely monitor how the next president will deal with the problem, which has long plagued Filipino workers.
Under this scheme, workers are hired as temporary workers with their contracts ending within six months. This prevents workers from being regularized and from receiving benefits. Contractual employees do not have security of tenure and are not eligible to join unions.
EILER pointed out that none of the presidential bets explained how exactly they will end contractualization.
Despite promising to end contractualization, Escresa-Colina criticized administration bet Mar Roxas.
“Roxas said there are loopholes in the issuances of the labor department on labor contractualization, and that it’s easy to end ‘endo.’ What he did not tell us is that DOLE issued Department Order 18-A in 2011 which legalizes contracting and subcontracting,” she said.
The said order supposedly allows companies to tap contractors and subcontractors “thus preventing workers from being regularized in big enterprises and shifting liabilities to small contractors.”
The group does not also agree with the candidates’ plans to invite foreign investors into the country.
“All presidential bets contradict themselves by saying they are anti-contractualization and pro-foreign investments at the same time. Foreign businesses actually want flexible labor because it is cheaper and they can save huge sums out of it,” Escresa-Colina said.
She said ending contractualization should go hand-in-hand with industrialization and agrarian reform.
“The current jobs crisis necessitates a comprehensive and pro-people national development program that counters the dominant neoliberal development agenda that this current administration subscribes to,” she said. JE
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