‘Endo’ guidelines a ‘grand deception’

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DEPARTMENT Order 30 or DO 30, the new implementing guidelines crafted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on work contracting, is a “grand deception” to make President Rodrigo Duterte believe that it is compliant with his campaign promise that contractualization must be stopped, according to organized labor groups.

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The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s largest and one of oldest labor federations, pointed out on Friday that DO 30 will instead perpetuate contractualization and its related forms such as end of contract or “endo” and “555.”

According to the new DO, all the necessary or directly related jobs or functions in a company’s business cannot be contracted out.

It, however, allows seasonal and project employees to continue to be non-regular workers.

“Instead of prohibiting contractualization, the DOLE has now created a scenario where our economy will be serviced by an army of seasonal and project employees. Instead of regular workers who become trained and who acquire expertise, who develop corporate loyalty and have institutional memory, our workforce will be populated by short-termers who can barely meet the barest needs of their dependents, let alone themselves” TUCP vice president Luis Corral said in a statement.

The group said DO 30 is a crude attempt in making the President and the workers believe that it is the antidote to contractualization and “endo.”

“Now the DOLE has the gall to invoke the President by naming the directive DO 30, when in truth and in fact, the DOLE has chosen to deliberately misread the President’s order to end contractualization,” it added.

DO 30 is a play on the President’s surname just as DU 30 (rhymes with Duterte) is.

“The DOLE has slanted the DO to defeat the call for decent work with security of tenure. No seasonal and project workers will be regular under this scenario. The employers and contractors are now merrily laughing at this grand deception on the way to the bank,” TUCP spokesman Vicente Camilon Jr. said.

But Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd maintained that DO 30 is a product of a series of tripartite consultations that include representatives of the labor sector, saying that even before the crafting of the new DO, the DOLE has already reforms alongside the President’s directive to eliminate “illegal” contractualization and “endo.”

“We are on track with our objective to eliminate ‘endo’ and other forms of illegal contracting arrangements,” he said, adding that many companies and establishments have already complied with the objective of the government to wipe out illegal contractualizaton by 2017.

Bello said a total of 32,437 workers are now enjoying job security after their employers and contractors converted their employment to regular status.

Of this figure, 28,772 workers were regularized after 186 consultations and meetings with 9,100 establishments.

On Wednesday, Bello disclosed that among the salient features of DO 30 is the scrapping of sub-contracting, which is being used by fly-by-night contractors to circumvent the law against illegal contracting.

It also raises the capitalization of accredited contractors to P5 million from P3 million to ensure that manpower providers were legitimate business operators.

DO 30 requires accredited contractors to post a bond registration equivalent to 50 percent of the basic monthly minimum wage of its total number of employees, and requires as well the principal employer to look for alternate jobs for the employees within three months after the termination of the services of the contractors.

Bello said the Labor department could not implement or order a total ban on all forms of contractualization as demanded by the labor sector because only Congress can amend the law, which allows certain forms of work contracting.

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  1. Seasonal and project work needs to be done by contractors. How can an employer pay the salary of an employee if the work is only available for 3 – 6 months? This would cause bankruptcy and severe unemployment. What needs to be done is significantly increase the rate for contract workers, because they do not have benefits and will not have work after the contract. Set the minimum rate of contract workers at minimum wage of regular workers plus a percentage, say around 25% – 40%. This will provide a cushion for contractual workers after the season is over and their contract is done. It will also make employers think twice about keeping contract workers perpetually even when regular work is available.