• Labor group blasts Duterte’s approval of new labor order

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    THE Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) blasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of a new labor order on contractualization that organized labor had rejected.

    The militant group said Department Order (DO) 174 series of 2017, signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd last week, legitimizes contractualization in the country.

    “Workers are enraged that the President, who has so committedly promised to end contractualization, is now praising the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) order that further legitimizes and promotes it,” Jerome Adonis, the group’s secretary general, said.

    KMU insisted that DO 174 is no different from previous DoLE guidelines that legitimized contractualization, as it merely reiterates provisions of Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code which KMU claimed legalized contractualization.

    “Regulation is not prohibition. The DO 174 would not end but instead promote what it deems as legal forms of contractualization. Like (former President Benigno) Aquino’s DO 18-A, it merely teaches employers how to circumvent labor laws to make their contractual employment schemes legitimate,” Adonis said.

    The labor group also belied Bello’s claim that the Labor department has no power to end contractualization.

    “If the DoLE has the power to legalize and legitimize, it certainly also has the power to prohibit contractualization. But they did not and do not want to do that. Instead, the DoLE gives these flimsy excuses for their inutility and connivance with big businesses to promote contractualization,” Adonis said.

    He added that Duterte’s approval of DO 174 proves that the administration has failed to deliver its promise to heed Filipino workers’ demand to end all forms of contractualization.

    While the new order states that the secretary of Labor has no power to prohibit all forms of contractualization and fixed-term employment, it listed 11 “prohibited” practices, including contracting through an in-house agency and contracting work that is also done by regular employees.

    It also calls for the strict regulation of “legal” contracting and subcontracting.

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