Bello: Duterte promised to sign EO on contractualization by March

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8) — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to sign an executive order (EO) banning illegal forms of contractualization by March.

Speaking to the media in Albay, Bello said Duterte made the promise after meeting with officials of labor groups Wednesday.

"Pinangako naman niya na by March lalagdaan niya yung executive order that we presented," said Bello.

[Translation: He promised that he'd sign the executive order we presented by March.]

He said Duterte wants to study the draft EO first.

"Maganda yung dala ko pero sabi ng ating Pangulo, pag-aralan niya muna. Pag-aralan naming dalawa bago niya pipirmahan," Bello said.

[Translation: The draft I brought was good but our President said he would study it first. We'll both study it first befor he signs it. ]

Duterte promised to end contractualization during the presidential campaign.

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

Last year, the Labor Department issued Department Order 174, banning labor-only contracting, outsourcing work due to a strike, and the so-called "endo" practice, where workers are repeatedly hired on five-month contracts that fall short of regularization.

Labor groups, however, have continued to call for an EO that will end any form of contractualization.

Bello said he already has a "formula" in mind to fix the issue, but was mum on details.

"Yung contractualization medyo contentious rin yun pero meron na kong formula. Maaaring matanggap ng labor, baka sakaling tanggapin ng management," he said.

[Translation: Contractualization is still a bit contentious, but I have a formula. Labor groups and management may accept it.]

Last July, the department admitted failure to end contractualization within Duterte's first year in office, pointing out the lack of manpower to do so.

READ: DOLE admits failure to end contractualization

Bello, however, said the meeting between Duterte and the labor unions on Wednesday was "good." He noted this was the first time groups from different leanings came together to talk.

"Maganda yung pag-uusap nila kahapon," he said. "Lahat ng unyon, for the first time nagsama lahat ng unyon. Yung kaliwa, yung kanan tsaka yung sentro."

[Translation: Their talk yesterday was good... All the unions were together for the first time-- the left and the center.]

CNN Philippines Eimor Santos contributed to this story.