Labor groups to Malacañang: Sign the EO to prohibit ENDO!

Manila, Philippines — “Instead of passing the responsibility of ending contractualization to Congress, the president should live up to his campaign promise and issue an Executive Order that would prohibit labor contracting,” labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) said today.

SENTRO is a member of the broad labor coalition NAGKAISA.

Sentro Secretary General Josua Mata said the palace is being disingenuous as it knows very well that while a law is needed to prohibit all forms of contractualization, an Executive Order (EO) will serve as a stop-gap measure to enable the president to deliver his promise.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the ASEAN Summit 2017

Mata issued this statement in reaction to a recent news quoting Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra as saying that even if President Rodrigo R. Duterte signs an EO abolishing labor contractualization or “endo,” legislative action will still be needed to ban it completely

“Ending contractualization is a political promise of the President. It is sad that Malacañang is now expecting that promise to be fulfilled by Congress. The law is very clear: the Labor Code provides ample power to the Secretary of Labor to halt labor contracting,” Mata explained.

Article 106 of the labor law allows the labor secretary to restrict or prohibit contracting-out of labor to protect the rights of the workers.

Mata said this provision clearly gives the president the capacity to end contractualization, “if he so wishes”.

Guevarra said that the EO only had the power to require much stricter compliance with existing labor regulations.

Guevarra said in a Palace briefing that the draft EO has been under study in his office for quite some time. He said the main problem is what people want to happen is something that the executive department is not empowered to do and will require legislative action.

The president promised to issue an EO which will end the labor contracting scheme in May last year.

The president met with the labor groups, including Sentro, later in 2017 and asked the group to draft the said EO and promised to review existing policies against the abusive practice and promised to hire more labor inspectors.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III later confirmed that the EO was drafted by labor groups and was concurred to by management groups.

In February this year, President Duterte told labor groups to give him until March 15 to study the proposed EO.

On Monday Guevarra explained that the EO was meant only to supplement what the law provides but it cannot add, subtract or substantially alter it. He said there is a slim chance that the EO to abolish endo would be released, but stressed that it did not mean it was a “death sentence”. CPM

REFERENCE: Josua Mata 0917-7942431

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