DOLE: whose side are you on?

MANILA, Philippines — “Now is the time for the government to take sides. Kaninong panig ba ang mas papaboran ng gubyerno? Ang end-Endo (end contractualization) para sa manggagawa o ang win-win solution para sa kapitalista?”

[Now is the time for the government to take sides. On whose side is the government?: The end-ENDO for the workers or win-win solution by capitalist]

This was the statement of Partido Manggawa Chair Renato Magtubo during a protest action in front of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) main office in Intramuros, Manila, recently.

The protest action was a build-up activity of the labor groups in preparation for the upcoming National Day of action against ENDO (End Ocontractualization), November 2016.

Magtubo said the consultation with labor was already concluded in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and that is is high time DOLE decided to act on the actual demands of these labor groups.

He said a Department Order (DO) that deviates from the Labor Summit’s position on endo is “unacceptable”.  

“The President has even threatened to kill endo lords. How can a new DO go softer than the President’s order of licking the plague of endo?” Magtubo asked.


Bello still tough on ENDO?

In a live radio interview (16 November 2016), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, was upbeat, his talks with employers and company owners seemed to be on the right track regarding Endo issues.

“Sa mga employer’s, humingi sila ng panahon para unti-unti nang ma-regularize ang employees. Isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ayaw nilang (employers) ma-regularize ang employees ay dahil takot sila sa unyon,” Bello said.

[The employers were just biding time, but gradually they will regularize their employees. One of the reasons why employers don’t want their employees to be regularized is the fear of joining or forming a union]

The labor secretary also reiterated the President’s marching orders to end ENDO.

“Isa sa mga unang sinabi sa akin ng pangulo ang tungkol sa kalagayan ng mga security guard. Naaabuso sila ng kanilang mga agency. 12 hours kung magtrabaho pero maliit ang sweldo. Walang night differential,” Bello explained.

[President told me, the situation of the security guard is awful. They are being abused by their agencies. They work 12 hours a day, and yet, they are not compensated properly. They have no night differentials]

PALEA calls for DOLE to take decisive action

For Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) President, Gerry Rivera, the labor department must now take a decisive and conclusive action, especially in putting their agony to rest by settling the more than five years of labor dispute with the Philippine Airlines (PAL) management.

cpm_paleadole6“Government must push for the implementation of PAL-PALEA Settlement Agreement on endo that can serve as a preview to the resoluteness of the administration’s anti-endo campaign,” Rivera pointed out.

Rivera challenge the establishment. “if the present administration is pro-labor, then this is the time to show it.”  

“Limang taon na kaming nasa labas gayung kami ay dapat regular na empleyado ng PAL hanggang sa kasalukuyan. Hangad din namin ay hustisya dahil daig pa namin ang natokhang,” Rivera lamented.

[We are already five years on the street fighting. By this time, we are supposed to be regular PAL employees already. We also hope and pray for justice because the government treats us worse than the “tokhang!]

PALEA is just one classic example of pending cases of ENDO before the labor department that needs to be addressed immediately because not only the workers are suffering but also their loved ones.

“DOLE has a very bad record in regulating endo, hence, a stricter rule for prohibition is the best option to pursue,” Magtubo recommended.  

But based on the little that we know, perhaps the present government is playing tricks on the Filipino people.

It seems everything was well played—perhaps they knew the cards—they knew all along what would happen next.

What does the present administration really hew to? The truth… equal protection… a balanced justice? Or the interest of the few?

In the end, it is the Filipino people who will suffer and decide, if the present government is really for the people and by the people—not the other way around, “Buy the People.” CPM

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