OVER 35 million contractual workers will have no regular jobs if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte wins Monday’s elections.
The broadest alliance of labor organizations in the country on Sunday disclosed that the PDP-Laban presidential bet refused to commit himself to end contractualization in the Philippines.
It is expected that the problem would be worse undera Duterte presidency since he refused to sign a “contract with the Nagkaisa” labor coalition to address contractualization or the system of ending contracts after a five months of employment and other labor problems.
Nagkaisa is an alliance of 49 labor centers, federations and unions like the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Partido Manggagawa (PM), Associated Labor Unions (ALU), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and National Confederation of Labor (NCL).
Alan Tanjusay, spokeman for TUCP and Nagkaisa, said only Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay agreed with Nagkaisa to solve the contractualization problem.
The three presidential candidates also agreed with Nagkaisa on paying workers a living wage, ensuring quality public services and reforming workplace labor inspection.
“We have the signatures of Roxas, Poe and Binay conforming with workers’ clamor to repeal the contractualization work scheme in the country,” Tanjusay said.
He noted that Nagkaisa believed that “[b]y affixing their signatures, the three candidates have signified their commitment to fight contractualization.”
“Regardless of who among them wins, the minority President has a binding agreement with the majority, the Filipino working people. Nagkaisa will engage the new leadership to ensure that he or she will live up to his or her promise to end contractual employment,” Tanjusay said.
“Unfortunately, Rodrigo Duterte [perceived to be the leading presidential candidate]did not sign the document. This puts into question his sincerity in fighting contractualization,” he added.
Duterte was actually the very first presidential candidate who told the electorate of his supposed plan to end the contractualization system in the country.
He even declared several months ago that contractualization is against Philippine labor laws and is not proper to practice it in the Philippines.
In the last presidential debates, the PDP-Laban presidential bet reiterated his plan to end contractualization together with the four other presidential candidates.
According to Tanjusay, “Poe and Binay signed the agreement committing themselves to certify as urgent and enact the Security of Tenure Bill both for the private and the public sectors as championed in the outgoing 16th Congress by Representatives Raymond Mendoza, Walden Bello and Leah Paquiz.”
Tanjusay explained that contractualization, also known as “endo” (end of contract) or “5-5-5” jobs, means hiring employees for only five months without security of tenure, paid with unlawful wages and without social protection benefits and privileges compared to what regular workers receive.
Under the “endo” practice, workers are hired for only five months precisely to prevent regularization, he said.
Philippine Statistics Authority data show that more than 35 million out of almost 70 million Filipino workers are working under a five-month contract period as of 2016.