THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has admitted that eliminating contractualization or endo (end of contract) and other prohibited labor practices would not be easy without the help of the workers.
During a recent employees’ union assembly and before a group of lay ministers in Manila, DOLE Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, a former labor leader, said illegal labor practices can only be resolved with the active participation of the workers themselves.
“We cannot do it alone. We will not be successful in what we are fighting for without the support and active support of the workers,” Maglunsod said in Filipino.
Earlier, workers from Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and allied organizations Sanlakas and Partido Lakas ng Masa said millions are still plagued by contractualization after the Duterte administration’s first 100 days in office.
Maglunsod said the government is implementing a number of initiatives to address the problem, which include a continuous massive information campaign against illegitimate contractualization and endo practices.
“Through the conduct of orientations, the department would be able to clarify and address issues on the government’s efforts to end illegitimate contractualization. [These issues] are being raised by various employers’ associations and other stakeholders,” he added.
Industries that have high incidence of contractualization are being assessed first, including manufacturing and service (malls, food chains, hotels and restaurants) and corporate farms.
The assessment is in support of an earlier three-pronged action plan aimed at ensuring strict enforcement of labor laws through inspection, joint assessment and compliance visit; policy review of existing Implementing Rules and Regulations, particularly on contracting and sub-contracting; and amendment of the Labor Code provisions on contracting and sub-contracting and security of tenure.
“Clearly, these efforts would not prosper unless there is support and commitment from both our employers and workers,” Maglunsod said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd earlier announced that 16,183 workers had been voluntarily regularized by their employers as the DOLE stepped up efforts to eliminate illegal contractualization practices.
But labor groups said “DOLE’s much-acclaimed performance does not even reach 1 percent of the more than 1.3 million contractual workers in establishments employing 20 or more workers.”
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL