MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte gave the country’s workers nothing on Labor Day but “motherhood statements and unfulfilled promises,” two opposition lawmakers said on Tuesday.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said the workers “cannot eat” these promises and need something more concrete from the President.
“The labor force needs immediately concrete, specific and substantial benefits like a wage increase approximating a living wage, elimination of contractualization or outsourcing of labor requirements to reduce workers’ benefits, and termination of the practice of “endo”, the contrived expiration of labor contracts before a worker completes six months of employment to preclude a permanent status,” he said in a news conference.
Lagman said the benefits to the workers should be immediately given.
“The President’s asking for more time after almost a year of incumbency is an inexcusable procrastination which is anti-labor,” he added.
Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said that while the Duterte administration promised to end contractualization, Department Order 174 recently issued by the Department of Labor and Employment instead “institutionalized the practice of sub-contracting.”
Department Order (DO) No. 174, series of 2017, emphasized that labor-only contracting or the practice where the agency “merely recruits or supplies workers to perform a job or work” for an employer is the form of contracting that is prohibited.
In labor-only contracting, the agency “does not have substantial capital or investment which relates to the job, work or service to be performed.”
DO 174 superseded DO 18, which contained the original guidelines on contracting and subcontracting.
“Unfortunately, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello only made worse and institutionalized labor sub-contracting, and even imposed on labor groups the task of monitoring companies who violate the laws,” he said.
“The President’s Labor day promise is a failure. It’s high time labor groups reject this administration,” Villarin added.