Bayan Muna slams Palace hesitation on ‘endo’
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate criticized Malacañang for hesitating to sign an Executive Order that would end labor contractualization or ‘endo’ (end of contract), saying that the Palace ‘tricked’ workers from both the private and public sectors into thinking that the practice will end.
“Marapat na lalong magprotesta ang mga manggagawa dahil dito (It is only right for workers to protest about it),” Zarate said, after news broke that President Rodrigo Duterte would no longer sign the EO ending the contractual labor policy.
In a previous report, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the president will stop ‘endo’ on or before May 1, which is Labor Day.
“The President wants it as soon as possible. We all know that Labor Day is May 1. So, I would think that it will come out on or before May 1,” Roque said.
Zarate questioned Malacañang’s intentions, claiming that the government, including offices directly under the cabinet secretaries, have the largest number of contractual employees.
“How can the Duterte administration end ‘endo’ when, according to the Inventory of Government Human Resources, as of July 1, 2016, there are 721,282 contract of service (COS), job orders (JOs), casual, and contractual workers out of the 2,301,191 government employees,” the solon said.
“This figure is more than twice the 282,586 contractual workers in the public sector in 2008. Top agencies in 2016 with the most number of JOs and COS include the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and Department of Education (DepEd),” he added.
The left-leaning lawmaker also provided staggering numbers on contractual employees in the public sector. He claimed that 44 percent of employees at the University of the Philippines (UP), and 36 percent at the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) are contractual workers.
At the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 81 percent are also without regular status, according to Zarate.
Labor groups have also expressed disappointment over the President’s failure to sign the EO that would have ended the practice of offering short-term and unprotected temporary work arrangements to workers.
Malacañang, however, admitted earlier this month that it is powerless to enforce a ban on contractual work arrangements as certain amendments to the Labor Code are needed to fully implement it.
Before he was appointed chief justice, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra was also quoted as saying in news reports that lawmakers should amend the Labor Code to abolish contractualization, particularly the granting of exemption granted to certain from making contractual work arrangements.
The elimination of contractualization, however, is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s main campaign promises in the 2016 national elections. /ee
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