Roxas to end contractualization in 3 to 6 months, Duterte in a week

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(L-R) Jejomar Binay, Rodrigo Duterte, Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — All five candidates vying for the country's top post are against the practice of job contractualization.

During the third and final official presidential debate on Sunday (April 24) hosted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), ABS-CBN, and the Manila Bulletin, the presidential bets expressed their disapproval for "endo" (end of contract) or "5-5-5" (employment ends every five months).

Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II vowed to end contractualization within three to six months if he lands the presidency.

Roxas claimed the country's failure to effectively implement the law lay in the "loopholes" in the current law itself.

With this, the administration bet said he would push for the passage of the new law that would close all these lapses, in accordance with the orders of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said it would only take him a week as president to put an end to contractualization.

"I will talk to the House Speaker and the Senate President... I will talk to the majority: You need to pass this bill immediately. I need it first week of my administration," said Duterte.

Duterte blamed contractualization as the root of the lack of experience of the youth in the labor force since they had been forced to shuttle from one temporary job to another. And this, he said, was an "injustice committed against the people."

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Aside from his objection to contractualization, Vice President Jejomar Binay wanted to boost government protection for all workers.

"Sa lahat ng pagkakaton, ang manggagawa ay dapat protektado na matanggap ang mga sinasaad sa batas," Binay said.

[Translation: At all times, workers should be protected to receive all that is stated in the law.]

Binay also promised to remove income tax, saying "Hindi ko lang bababaaan, kundi tatanggalin ko ang income tax."

[Translation: I will not only lower, but I will remove income tax.]

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said contractualization was wrong on two levels.

"I am vehemently against contractualization. Not only is it illegal but possibly unconstitutional... [The practice] places the employee under the power of the employer," said Santiago.

Santiago wanted more jobs for Filipinos to curb contractualization. 

"Kung gumawa ka ng trabaho lalapit ang mga tao sa'yo. Milyon-milyon ang graduates pero wala naman silang pupuntahan," said Santiago.

[Translation: If you create more jobs, people will approach you. There are millions of graduates but they have nowhere to go.]

Related: 'Jobs-skills mismatch crisis' confronts 2016 graduates

Sen. Grace Poe echoed the sentiments of her co-candidates, upholding the need for productivity in the labor force. 

"Hindi ko papayagan ang endo dahil kailangan maging produktibo ang ating mga empleyado. At magiging produktibo lang sila kung may malasakit ang kompanya at pinoportekahan sila ng gobyerno," said Poe.

[Translation: I will not allow endo because employees should be productive. And they will only be productive if companies will show concern and the government will protect them.   

Business interests

Poe downplayed the effect of the end contractualization to employers who might raise eyebrows and might be wary of their company's revenues.

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The lawmaker promised to lower corporate income tax if businessmen would support the end of contractualization.     

"Mapasa natin at mawala na ang contractualization, sisiguruhin kong bababa ang corporate income tax," said Poe.

[Translation: If contractualization will be dissolved, I will assure that corporate income tax will decrease.]

"Alagaan niyo sila (employees), hindi namin (government) kayo iipitin."

[Translation: Take care of them (employees), and we (government) will not give you a hard time.] 

Roxas junked claims that he would protect the interests of businessmen, saying that his track record would speak for itself.

Also read: Biz man on end to contractualization: A good soundbite but impractical

The administration bet said he even went against the pharmaceutical industry when he vied for the passage of the Cheaper Medicine Law.

"Binabangga ko ang mga malalaking interes kung para ito sa kapakanan ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino," Roxas said.

[Translation: I go against businesses with big interests if this is for the sake of ordinary Filipinos.]

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