SIDING with labor groups representing more than 30 million contractual workers, President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected the controversial new guidelines on work contracting crafted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
This surfaced following Thursday’s dialogue between labor officials led by Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd and representatives of labor coalition Nagkaisa at the DOLE offices in Intramuros, Manila.
During the meeting, Bello announced to the group that no new department order (DO) was issued before the end of 2016, and the DOLE was willing to reconsider the demands of the workers.
Bello said he was willing to listen to workers’ comments in crafting a new DO even as he directed his undersecretaries to come out with separate drafts that will be consolidated by the DOLE into a new version on January 13.
The consolidated version will then be referred to the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) for consultations and will be issued as DO 1, series of 2017 when approved.
Still, workers question whether “endo” or contractualization will be finally ended, Nagkaisa spokesman Wilson Fortaleza said.
A labor leader, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak to the press, told The Manila Times that while they wanted all forms of contractualization scrapped, they were also willing to reconsider their stance.
“We also understand the plight of the employers. It’s just like a bargaining agreement, we are also willing to give way to legal forms of contractualization,” the source added.
What the labor groups do not agree to is the adoption of the “win-win structure” introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the employers, in which contractual workers will be hired as regular employees of manpower agencies, the source said.
“We wanted it scrapped. What we wanted is for workers to be directly hired by the firms and companies that need them,” the source added.
During the dialogue, Nagkaisa also formally requested the DOLE chief to set up an audience with the President where workers can air their appeal for the passage of an executive order that will serve as a stop-gap measure to ban contractualization until a new law amending the Labor Code is passed.
Duterte had made a campaign commitment to end contractualization within a few weeks upon assumption to office. He reiterated this commitment during yearend interviews with various media outlets.
Organized labor claimed the scrapped contractualization guidelines under DO 30, later changed to DO 168, would perpetuate the “endo” practice that the President wanted to stop.