PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is studying, and may sign any time soon, the labor sector-crafted draft Executive Order (EO) that will guide and help him fulfill his election promise to put a stop to contractualization or endo (end of contract) practice of employers.
The draft EO was submitted by the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) and the Nagkakaisa Labor Coalition on May 9 in compliance with the President’s directive.
The task of drafting the EO was assigned by the President to organized labor groups after their closed-door meeting in Davao City during the celebration of Labor Day.
“The issue when and how President Duterte [will]end contractualization is all now in his hands. The ball is in President Duterte’s hands,” the group said.
Highly reliable sources have told The Manila Times that the coverage of the EO applies to all contracting and sub-contracting arrangements including cooperatives.
The EO prohibits all forms of labor contracting, labor-only contracting or job contracting, which have been declared illegal and are therefore strictly prohibited.
It states, “All parties engaged in any arrangement in violation of this EO shall automatically be considered the worker’s direct employer and the latter shall be deemed as direct employees.”
The executive order said violations of the EO shall be penalized under existing laws or regulations.
If the offense is committed by a cooperative, a corporation, a partnership, a trust, a firm, an association or any juridical entity, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officers of such.
The draft EO, if approved by the President, will effectively nullify Department Order (DO) 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).
DO 174 carries the new guidelines on contractualization that took effect last April 3.
It replaced DO 18-A in response to workers’ demand to abolish contractualization.
Labor groups, however, rejected DO 174, claiming that it only benefits the employers and manpower service providers and cooperatives.
During his meeting with organized labor in Davao City, the President assured them that he understood what the workers want and suggested that “we assert our public interest power to ensure a just transition to help him meet his promise to the nation.”
“I stand firm on my conviction to end ‘endo.’ Just give us time. The Labor Code guarantees all the right to security of tenure. This has to be strictly enforced. Labor laws must be enforced against ‘endo’ and labor-only contracting,” Duterte said earlier.
The President has admitted in the labor dialogue that there is “resistance and objections” coming from some members of his Cabinet and interest lobby groups on his decision to ban contractualization “but the President said he has no sympathy for oligarchs.”
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL