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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 4, 2016
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Duterte urged to hasten
end to contractualization

Secretary-general Wennie Sancho of the General Alliance of Workers Association said President Rodrigo Duterte's administration needs to expedite the revocation of labor contractualization.

During his campaign, Duterte strongly expressed opposition to the practice of contractualization, but it was later clarified by incoming Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez that other contract-based jobs will still be allowed.

Dominguez said on June 22 that it is the five-month contracts that the Duterte administration is pursuing.

Sancho said GAWA hopes that the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte will help realize their advocacy to end labor contractualization.

He said there are several ways the new administration can lobby for the end of “endo,” one of which is giving a directive to the new Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III to release an administrative order that will stop all labor practices that are related or has a semblance of contractualization.

In a radio interview last week, Bello said he will go after companies who employ contractual workers even if their jobs are essential to the nature of the business.

To strengthen this, Sancho said there must be an official submission of the passing of the legislative measure, force of law, to declare “endo” illegal and a criminal act. He added that since the Labor Code is only statutory rights, this must be supported by a legislative measure.

The best Duterte can do is to declare through an executive order stating that all contractualization activities must be stopped, he added.

GAWA still has to see any concrete manifestation from Duterte's administration, he said, adding that they understand since the president-elect is focusing on his campaign against illegal drugs and criminality in the country.

If “endo” still persist, the worker's security of tenure is eroded, he said. Employees will not also get any social security benefits — SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig Fund—which are usually not paid by employers, he added.

If regular employees will be paid higher wages, this will increase their purchasing power and turn them into viable consumers, and increase production and consumption of goods, he said.*KBC


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