Digong: End ‘endo,’ or I kill you
After silencing drug suspects, the Punisher may soon train his guns—literally—on “endo” business owners.
Harping on his campaign pledge, President Duterte has issued a stern warning to businessmen practicing “endo” (end of contract), the colloquial term for contractualization, an illegal hiring system which denies workers of regular employment.
The scheme involves the hiring of employees for less than six months to bypass the law which mandates the regularization of workers who have been hired for over six months.
“I’m telling this to you. I’m just issuing a warning. You choose: Stop contractualization or I kill you,” the President said in his speech before members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting in Malacañang on Wednesday night.
“You know why? I can utter things like that. I am [the] President. I have immunity. I can summon you. I will shoot you [and order] ‘Bring him to the funeral parlor. You’re making me angry,’” he said in Filipino and English.
“I will call you here. I’ll slap you one by one. I’m used to that. I really kick people. Believe me. Even policemen in Davao. Nobody was exempted.”
The former longtime Davao City mayor, infamously known as the Punisher for advocating the summary killings of criminals, said Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III had told him that the Department of Labor lacked personnel to inspect every business establishments in the country.
Mr. Duterte, who vowed to curb criminality and the illegal drug trade within the first six months of his administration, had promised to end the practice of “endo” and close down businesses hiring employees on a contractual basis.
The President reiterated his administration’s “no tolerance” policy against contractualization, saying he had directed Bello to check the records of businesses engaged in the illegal practice.
“I cannot inspect every business across the Philippines,” Mr. Duterte said. “If we have no power to close down [the business], I will go there and shoot [the owner]. Then it’s over. The business is now closed down.”
“[But] that’s just hyperbole,” he said, eliciting laughter from his audience, which included several Catholic priests and nuns.
But Bello on Wednesday said there is a need to carefully study the proposal of some labor groups to criminalize the hiring of contractual workers.
“We have to study that very, very carefully because it might be too harsh to criminalize contractualization,” said Bello.
“To me, initially, off hand, my position would be just the administrative penalty. Like closure and cancellation of permit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bello said one company engaged in manpower services and employs over 500 people, many of whom were complaining that they were underpaid, is facing possible closure.
“The complainants came to us, saying they were underpaid. Their salary is P200 per day. This is clear violation of the minimum wage law… If these are verified we will enforce the penalty as provided by law,” he said.
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.