President Rodrigo Duterte may sign an executive order (EO) banning contractualization or “endo” by Labor Day, Malacanang said on Monday.
In a press briefing, Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. said that Duterte wanted the EO “as soon as possible.”
“I would think that they would want a significant EO like this to be issued in connection with another commemoration giving, recognizing the value of the labor sector in our society, which is Labor Day,” Roque said.
The statement came after Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines spokesman Alan Tanjusay told The Manila Times that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) advised them that the meeting with Duterte was cancelled.
Tanjusay said that the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) “strong objections” on the draft EO forced the postponement for the third time.
Roque, however, said that Malacanang cancelled the meeting “possibly” because a final version of the EO, a tripartite document, has yet to be agreed upon by labor, management and the government.
“I do not know [why a final version is yet to come]but what I do know is that the President is rather restive. He has mentioned to me personally that this is a campaign promise that he wants to deliver to the people very soon,” Roque said.
Roque also said that the EO would greatly favor the labor groups.
“I would suppose, because it is a promise that the President gave, that it would be an EO that would side with the labor forces,” Roque said.
Roque also said that he “did not find the scheduled meeting in his calendar.”
Roque added that he would have to ask the President for the next scheduled meeting with the labor groups.
“Endo,” or end of contract, means five-month renewable contracts issued to workers so that employers will not have to regularize them on the sixth month under the law.
Last February, Duterte said that a compromise would be the most feasible way to address “endo.”
“Don’t make it hard for [business owners]to run the business the way they like it because that’s their money, so something of a compromise must be [agreed upon], maybe acceptable to everybody,” Duterte said in a speech during the Inauguration of the ARMSCOR Shooting Range in Davao last February 26th.
Last year, DOLE issued Department Order 174, which bans labor-only contracting, outsourcing work.
However, labor groups criticized the order because it still allowed certain types of contractualization.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said that what Duterte meant by “terminating contractualization” was banning “unlawful, illegitimate contractualization”.
Bello also said that the total ban on contractualization was “impossible to implement” because the law allowed some exceptions. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA