MALACAñANG on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer issue an executive order to stop the practice of “endo” or contractual hiring that deprives workers of job security, and will leave it to Congress to enact a law instead.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the position of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was to leave it to Congress to enact or amend the labor law, saying the President followed the decision of the Labor chief.
The Alliance of Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) slammed the Labor Department and the Palace for passing the issue on to Congress, and said this was inconsistent with the President’s promise to stop the rampant abuse of short-term contract work.
“This statement and position is just the Secretary Bello, attorney Roque and the Department of Trade and Industry speaking, not the President. This is not the President speaking himself. Bello and Roque are just pre-empting the President’s desire to sign labor-drafted EO,” ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said.
In a press briefing at the Department of Labor and Employment, Bello announced that President Duterte will no longer sign an executive order (EO) on contractualization and he will instead certify a pending bill in Senate on the security of tenure as a priority bill.
He said the Office of the Executive Secretary had studied three drafts of the EO.
Bello said the Senate bill will address unlawful contractualization “if there is an effective and honest-to-goodness implementation.”
For his part, Roque said the President had complied with his election promise—to do away with “5-5-5 endo, in which employers hire a worker for five months then fires him on the fifth month to avoid regularizing his employment.
“Now the DOLE has beefed up the number of its labor inspectors from 200 to 500 and that’s why they have effectively cracked down on those resorting to prohibited endo,” Roque said.
“Let’s see what kind of legislation Congress will finally approve, noting that the matter is now pending in the Senate alone, because the House already passed its version,” Roque said.
But the labor group urged the President to sign the EO anyway.
“The signing of the EO is the concrete manifestation of meeting his promise to end Endo and serve as policy guidance to the fate and direction of Security of Tenure bill now pending in Congress. We all know that business is over-represented in Congress but with President Duterte signing the EO, it will send a signal to congressmen and senators to fast-track the passage of Security of Tenure Bill,” Tanjusay said.
Tanjusay said the workers’ one wish for Labor Day is that the President signs the EO drafted by the labor groups.
Bello, on the other hand, said workers should watch Duterte’s Labor Day speech for a possible “dramatic issuance.”