A coalition of labor groups on Thursday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to “walk the talk” in ending contractualization (endo), not legitimize it, through Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Order 174.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Buklurang Manggagawa ng Pilipinas (BMP) Chairman Leody de Guzman said they gave their full support to Duterte, especially when the latter vowed during the 2016 election campaign to put an end to endo (end of contract).
For the President to be able to deliver on his promise, de Guzman added, it is a “must” to remove DoLE Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd and three undersecretaries of the department — Dominador Say, Bernard Olalia and Claro Arellano, whom he accused of committing corrupt practices.
“If [Duterte] fails to fire Secretary Bello and the others, it is very clear that he is in favor of the capitalists and despite that, we will still talk to the President since we workers are used to having conversation with capitalists but we will still push for the removal of Bello. But of course, it will still hurt our workers if our President will not stick to his promise to end contractualization,” he explained in Filipino.
The coalition called the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa (Paggawa) stands pat that Bello “benefited” from the “capitalist companies” on not ending contractualization.
“It is obvious that the private companies have given Bello this go-signal to legitimize contractualization. We would like to look into this and we hope the President will heed our call,” de Guzman said.
The coalition is composed of labor groups from various sectors across the country.
These groups are BMP, Association of Genuine Labor Organization (Aglo), Associated Trade Union, Katipunan ng Samahang ng mga Manggagawa, Katipunan ng Makabayang Manggagawa, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod, Metro East Labor Federation, National Confederation of Labor, National Federation of Labor, National Federation of Labor Unions, National Union of Building and Construction Workers, Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon, Sosyalista, Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reform, Teachers Dignity Coalition and United Filipino Service Workers.
Before Bello implemented DO 174, the Labor chief first talked with employers through the Department of Trade and Industry on the points that would be indicated in the order that “only seeks to allow contractualization,” Jaime Miralles, national president of AGLO, said.
Miralles said Bello should have consulted groups or workers themselves first on the drafting of DO 174.
He and de Guzman said their support for Duterte “might be at stake” if he would not fire the Labor secretary.