• Bill seeks contractualization ban

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    A measure invalidating fixed employment contracts has been filed in the House of Representatives, the third bill of its kind that seeks to abolish contractualization.

    Rep. Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis party-list made the proposal under his House Bill (HB) 5140, which will cover those who stand to be employed by local and foreign-owned companies.

    But unlike the previous two proposals made by party-list groups Akbayan and Democratic Independent Workers Association, HB 5140 took it a step farther with the provision that any stipulation in any written or oral contract of employment for a definite or fixed period that is designed to subvert the provision of the proposed act will be deemed null and void.

    “Shoemart [SM] owned by Henry Sy is notorious for employing contractual employees with shortened employment tenures of three to five months only. Contractualization is not a mere short-term tactic to reduce the cost or to defeat a union organizing drive, but a long-term strategy for shedding all obligations to workers and eliminating all employees rights provided by labor laws,” Hicap said.

    At least 37.6 million of the country’s work force, the lawmaker added, are either employed as contractual, temporary or probationary personnel or hired for odd jobs.

    Seven out of 10 firms in the country are implementing the contractualization scheme, according to Hicap.

    “Contractual employment is an employment strategy that aggravates domestic employment by destroying regular and permanent jobs while exposing contractual or temporary workers to sub-standard and inhumane working conditions,” he said.

    In addition, Hicap’s bill provides that probationary employment should not exceed six months from the first day of service for all workers, regardless of the nature of employment.

    The bill imposes a fine of P500,000 on and imprisonment of not more than two years for violators.

    If a corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association commits the offense, the penalty shall be imposed on guilty officers.

    Akbayan’s HB 573, or an Act Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Workers in the Private Sector, states that an employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period, even under the guise of an extension, will then be considered a regular employee.

    ”The termination [of services]of a probationary employee cannot be valid if there is termination of [services of]almost all probationary employees and if the employer maintained probationary employees in excess of the 30 percent of the total workforce,” Akbayan said in its bill.

    It defined a regular employee as somebody engaged to perform activities that are usually necessary or desirable or directly related to the usual business or trade of the employer.

    HB 124 or Security of Tenure Act of 2013 by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay of DIWA party-list limits fixed-term employment for: project employment, extra employment, seasonal employment and in industries that are certified by the President in an Executive Order (as allowable, due to existing and substantial losses in the industry as a whole brought about by an inability to price goods competitively in the market despite implementing reasonable measures], overseas Filipino workers, those hired to play professional sports, those appointed to sensitive positions in educational institutions such as dean, assistant dean, principal and college secretary and those employed as members of managerial staff.

    Project employment is a tenure that has been fixed for a specific project and that the termination of services of an employee has been determined at the time of his/her engagement, while extra employment is additional work to be performed in restaurants and hotel establishments specifically for banquet functions, seminars and similar functions where regular employees cannot reasonably cope with increased demands of such events.

    Seasonal employment refers to performance of an agricultural work that is seasonal in nature (duration of the planting or harvesting season).

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    8 Comments

    1. Unfortunately, big businesses have become more powerful that the govt. In the US, it s a fact that Goldman Sachs have more power than the US federal government. You can bet your butt, the bill won’t pass thru legislation.

    2. maybe we could sponsor a nationwide debate on the pros and cons of labor contractualization… we should drive the issue in the national consciousness for sure this issue will not only enamored the public for more debates on national candidates but put the responsible officials in the firing range of public scrutiny… we can not wait and beg them to say or do some things,… we will select the most interesting participants… i suggest miriam santiago to defend the affirmative that contractualization is daming good against a neophyte from the labor sector… not to belittle the Grand Senator but to upheld the morally wrong existing law,… we should take the revolution by firing reasons not bullets…

    3. The government is the biggest employer of contractual employees. Two government financial institutions, Land Bank and DBB, has contractual companies, the LBP Services Corp. and DBP Services. They provide contractual employees to several government agencies. In fact, in some of government agencies, the contractual employees outnumber the regular employees.

    4. Should be abolished eons ago! This fu….g system keeps the workers beggars. Walang awa ang mga hayop na na corporation at contractor na yan! I am an OFW but I could feel the pain as they do.

    5. Personally, the Government should seriously look into this as the employment status and number of employees in any establishment directly affects the price of commodities and services at all times. This is true specially to those that are with grandeur benefits being awarded to their employees as a result of their collective bargaining. I personally think that contractualizing or banning it is not really the matter or the answer. The key should be an effective and efficient retirement program for all the workers regardless of the status whether regular or contractual. A program that will enable workers to live their lives with dignity both during their retirement, and specially so during the slack time, or when they are out of job because of seasonality or economic distress. The problem with our country though is that the policies being made is almost single sided. The policy maker forgets that other than regulatory and policing, they also have an obligation to provide effective services to the people. Currently what we only see is that every single obligation to employees is tossed upon the employers. If only our government will make heavy taxes we have work for us than pocketing it, and if our social security contributions will be managed properly for the member’s benefit, then contractual or regular wont really matter. I just find it amazing that businesses in some countries do not provide retirement benefits for their employees, yet they are even prosperous than ours. We have better labor policies than them, but we probably are one of those that have the worst employment/employee status. I think its really the government that works for their people that makes it, and not the contractualization or employment statuses.

    6. Paging President Aquino, Paging Senators, Paging Congressmen/women. ITO PO ANG PINAKA IMPORTANTENG BATAS. SANA MAGISING NA KAYO!!!!

    7. Lets see how many people read this article & can be bothered to write an answer on it, i doubt very few as as long as im alright jack its sod the rest of them. Please change from that attitude & care about others, im sure you are taught that in church & remember im not a religious man at all & im a non believer in god. Yet i care about the poor worker, you dont need religious morals to do that you just need morals.

    8. I didnt quite understand all of that & i hope it is saying that workers like those in supermarkets dont actually work for the supermarkets but for agencies & are on a yearly contract. Then when they reach 27 they are now to old to work in that supermarket & are dumped on the streets. That should be stopped & i hope this law is doing that, but somehow i doubt it as the rich want to get even richer at the expense of the poor worker. Ive been saying this almost since i got here in 2008 but still its the same. It seems no one cares about the humble worker. If the law isnt changed there should be an uprising of the people & i think they should take the law into their own hands. I wont say to much but i hope you get my gist.