DOLE to ask Duterte to certify 'anti-Endo' bill as urgent

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — The Labor Department is confident there is still hope that President Rodrigo Duterte will fulfill his 2016 campaign promise of ending contractualization.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a media briefing Monday that his department was preparing a letter to President Duterte urging him to pass the controversial measure as urgent.

"We are going to prepare a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the ENDO bill as urgent... para once and for all matapos na ang issue ng endo," Bello said.

[Translation: We are going to prepare a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the endo bill as urgent... to solve the issue of endo once and for all]

Bello added once certified it would become a priority legislation of the President.

The labor chief said that DOLE's endorsement will also give weight to the proposed measure. DOLE will also stick to the Senate version of the bill or Senate Bill 1826.

'The Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act' proposes several changes in the Labor Code provisions on contracting arrangements and employment relationships.

The bill also changes the definition of labor-contracting which was highly contested by employers' groups.

Duterte vetoed the bill in June 2019, citing the need to balance the concerns of employers and employees.

"I believe the sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting destroys the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament with adverse consequences to the Filipino workers in the long term," Duterte said in his veto message.

There are around 700,000 workers who have been regularized since the start of Duterte's term, DOLE says.

The DOLE data also showed that some 50,000-60,000 workers remain contractual.

Labor groups on Duterte's labor policies: failed

Several labor groups slam the Duterte administration's labor policies in the last five years.

They gave the labor policies "failing mark" for the administration's inability to end contractualization, increase wages, and protect them from COVID-19 and red-tagging.

"Sa ilalim ng kanyang pamumuno lalong bumaba anag kalagayan ng mga mangagawa kahit sa gitna ng pandemya. Ang grado po namin sa kanya ay bagsak at palpak," Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson Christian Magsoy said.

[Translation: The quality of life of workers under the Duterte administration did not improve amid the pandemic. We are giving him a failing mark.]