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

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Is the end to contractualization a myth?

Presidential aspirants for the 2016 national elections have all expressed their commitment to end this practice in the labor force, which involves the "outsourcing" of labor from labor suppliers.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), in the Election Roundtable on CNN Philippines' Network News, said more than half of the Filipino workforce are under contractualization or endo (end of contract).

Alan Tanjusay, spokesman of TUCP, said most of these workers' contracts end in five to six months — and their employers dictate their fate either by rehiring them or asking them to look for another job.

Although TUCP has no preferred presidential bet, Tanjusay said the workers group set a criteria for the next president — ideally someone who can address the issue on contractualization.

"[We will give our support] if the candidate can address contractualization, wages, and quality of employment we have," said Tanjusay.

However, Atty. Ranulfo Payos, vice president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), is cynical on the end to contractualization, saying that the practice has become a "worldwide trend."

"You cannot really abolish contractualization. It is a worldwide trend and outsourcing is utilized by all employers all over the world ," said Payos.

"The trend right now is stick to your core business. Non-core businesses should be outsourced. That's the only way to survive the highly globalized, competitive business. It's a good soundbite but impractical."

Roxas, Binay "impressive" economic platforms

Although ECOP does not have a stand as its members have varied political brands, Payos has two presidential aspirants that are top of mind on the subject of workable job generation plans.

Payos dubbed the economic platforms of United Nationalist Alliance bet Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II as "very convincing" and "viable."

In particular, Payos expressed optimism on Binay's advocacy to amend the Philippine Constitution in a bid to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs).

"Among the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), we are very low when it comes to forging direct investments. These are the investors who will generate more jobs, open up more manufacturing companies, make available jobs for people," said Payos.

"Although that's not the only solution, Binay has impressed me on that particular subject."

Meanwhile, Payos lauded Roxas' plan to boost job generation with emphasis to providing quality education.

"What is important is training people, giving them more vocational competencies because what's needed in the manufacturing sector are technical people like technicians, welders, automotive technicians," said Payos.

Also read: What is your presidential candidate's platform of government?

Jobs-skills mismatch

Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Philippines' economy will remain upbeat this year — but high youth unemployment is posing as a challenge.

As an estimated 1.2 million graduates join the labor force during graduation months March to April, the availability of jobs proves to be a question that must be addressed by the country's future leaders.

Payos cited jobs-skills mismatch as one of the major factors why there are insufficient jobs for everyone.

"I believe there are some jobs that are available but there is a mismatch of the need of the industry versus those that are graduating," said Payos.

Also read: 'Jobs-skills mismatch crisis' confronts 2016 graduates

Tanjusay agrees with this, saying that competition in the labor force has become prevalent over the years — something that educational institutions should keep up with.

"There is a problem between the learning institution and the employers because of the high demand brought about by the globalization," said Tanjusay.

"The employer has to compete and for him to compete, he has to improve his work force. He has to set some certain standards for applicants, but the training and the curriculum by our graduates are not compatible with the demands set by the employers."

Related: IT-related jobs are highest paid for fresh grads — Jobstreet report