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Gabriela urges Duterte to end ‘endo’ before 2nd Sona

/ 06:57 PM July 15, 2017
Gabriela protesting against endo scheme - 15 July 2017

Members of Gabriela stage a protest against the ‘endo’ scheme. (Photo from the Facebook page of Gabriela)

Members of Gabriela, a national alliance of women, urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday to end the end-of-contract, or endo, scheme before he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 24.

In a forum held in Quezon City, the group evaluated the Duterte administration’s performance after a year, focusing on its efforts to improve the state of the labor sector.

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“Women are assessing Duterte’s first year since his maiden Sona by squarely taking into account his failed promise to end contractualization, an anti-worker scheme that no administration has so far decisively addressed,” Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador said in a statement.

The gathering was themed “Sa Isang Taon ng Gobyernong Duterte: Kababaihang Manggagawa, Kontraktwal Noon, Kontraktwal pa rin Ngayon (In Duterte Government’s First Year, Women Workers, Contractual Then Until Now)” which featured women’s testimonies about their everyday lives against the administration’s continued adherence to neoliberal economic policies.

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Elizabeth Maynigo, a home-based pieceworker, discussed the wholescale, or “pakyawan,” scheme, under which groups of subcontractors would ask unemployed residents of urban poor neighborhoods to take on assembly jobs for small rates.

These “pakyawan” workers, she said, would be “made to shoulder overhead expenses such as electricity and hand tools, while the lack of employment status leaves them with no workplace benefits such as accident insurance and separation pay.”

Some plantation and mining workers from Mindanao also shared stories of how Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao had “gravely curtailed” their legal struggle to get better wages and to eradicate contractualization.

“It is a promise that women, who comprise a great majority of contractual workers nationwide, take him to task on his first year that has so far failed to effect genuine change for majority of Filipinos,” Salvador added.

Meanwhile, Avic Gerodias, Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan spokesperson, said in a statement that women workers demanded that Duterte fulfill his “often-repeated calls” to abolish job contractualization to allow temporary workers to be regularized.

“One year of waiting is too long, and the oligarchs who profit from ‘endo’ jobs are still allowed to siphon off billions of dollars in profit abroad,” Gerodias said. –Renz Paolo B. Regis, INQUIRER.net intern /atm

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TAGS: 2017 Sona, contractualization, end of contract scheme, endo, Gabriela, labor sector, Rodrigo Duterte
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