Workers led by the national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marched to the Labor Department’s office in Intramuros, Manila this morning to express support for the incoming Duterte administration’s promise of putting an end to contractualization and outline proposals towards achieving the promise.
“Contractualization must end. It is a bane that violates workers’ every basic right. We are calling on the administration of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to ban all forms of contractualization,” Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said.
The labor leader suggested particular short-term and long-term measures to Duterte on how to end contractualization, something the incoming president promised would stop the moment he assumes the presidency.
“President Digong can immediately issue an executive order regularizing workers who have been contractuals for more than six months as mandated by the Article 280 of the Labor Code. He should also revoke DOLE Department Order No. 18-A Series of 2011 that legalized contractualization and led to the spike in the number of contractuals under the Aquino administration,” Labog said.
As a long-term measure, Labog suggested that Duterte implement a total ban on contractualization by amending the Labor Code of 1974 with the objective of junking Article 106 and removing its distinction between the illegal Labor-Only Contracting and the legal Job Contracting.
“By differentiating Labor-Only Contracting and Job Contracting, the Labor Code itself, particularly its Article 106, legalizes contractualization. To totally put an end to contractualization, it must be amended and replaced with provisions that strengthen workers’ rights to security of tenure and criminalizing all forms of contractual employment,” said Labog.
Labog added that Duterte can prioritize the passing of the Regular Employment Bill, which was filed in the 16th Congress by Anakpawis Partylist and Gabriela Women’s Party and heavily penalize capitalists, especially the big foreign and local ones, who implement contractualization.
KMU meanwhile welcomed the appointment of pro-worker officials in the Labor Department such as Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III as secretary and veteran labor leader and lawmaker Joel “Ka Jomag” Maglunsod as undersecretary which, according to Labog, “makes workers more confident that the Duterte administration would uphold their rights and welfare against contractualization and all forms of violation of worker’s rights.”