The partylist group Partido Manggagawa (PM) dared presidential candidates to propose policy steps to follow through on their commitment to stop contractualization. In a televised presidential debate last night, all five candidates promised to “end endo.”
“It is obvious that the presidentiables played to the crowd by declaring their intent to end endo but it was all too clear that they gave no concrete proposals on regulating much less eradicating the epidemic of contractualization. Either they have a shallow or erroneous understanding of the roots of contractualization,” averred Rene Magtubo, chair of PM and also its first nominee for the partylist elections.
“In deeds not by words should the presidentiables be judged on the issue of contractualization,” insisted Magtubo. PM, along with other labor groups, have been campaigning for the passage of the Security of Tenure bill that has languished in Congress for nearly a decade. The bill seeks to regulate contractualization by setting a cap on the number of non-regular workers and amending provisions of the Labor Code on subcontracting and outsourcing.
The group noted that none of the presidentiables who are solons pushed for the Security of Tenure bill while those who are local executives employ job order workers, the equivalent of contractual employees in the public sector, in their city halls.
“Mar Roxas deserves special mention for countenancing the outsourcing of Philippine Airlines employees in 2011 while he was cabinet secretary and threatening to file economic sabotage against PALEA members who fought contractualization in the national flag carrier,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and also PM partylist nominee.
He added that the “Contrary to the misconception of a few presidentiables, contractualization is expressly allowed by the law and is merely regulated but not prohibited. Moreover, lax inspection and enforcement by the Department of Labor and Employment worsens the situation.”
“This stems from the view of government that employers have to be encourged to invest and shifting from regular to contractual labor is part of the package. Thus it is worrisome that even as the presidentiables profess desire to end endo, in the same breath they want to placate employers by providing more incentives. We won’t be surprised that whoever becomes president will simply cave in to the employers’ lobby on the alibi that contractualization is necessary to generate more investments,” Rivera elaborated.
April 25, 2016