MANILA, Philippines – Progressive lawmakers at the House of Representatives called the Makabayan bloc filed, on Monday, a bill that seeks to ban all forms of labor contractualization in government institutions, two years after President Rodrigo Duterte failed to fulfill his campaign promise to end “endo” or “end of contract” among non-regular workers.
Representatives Carlos Isagani Zarate, Antonio Tinio, France Castro, Emmi De Jesus, Arlene Brosas, Ariel Casilao and Sarah Elago filed House Bill No. 7415 or the “Security of Tenure for Non-Regular Employees in Government Act of 2018.”
The bill seeks to provide security of tenure and civil service eligibility to all non-regular employees who have worked continuously for at least six months in government offices, including national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and all other government instrumentalities.
“Labor contractualization, in all its forms, goes against the Constitutional mandate to promote full employment for all,” Tinio said in a statement.
“There’s no way that the private sector will stop with endo and contractualization if the government sets such a bad example. It should therefore prohibit and penalize the abuse in the use of contracts of service and job orders and grant regular items all qualified contractual workers,” he added.
Tinio said the government has been the biggest user of “endo” with the number of casual employees and personnel on Contracts of Service (Cos) and Job Orders (JOs) ballooning up to 721,282 as of July 2016.
Majority of these workers, he said, are at the forefront of the delivery of social services like social workers and personnel for the distribution of the 4Ps under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and clerks and other administrative and support personnel under the Department of Education (DepEd).
Ferdinand Gaite, president of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), who was also present during the bill’s filing, lamented how government employees fall victim to this repressive scheme.
“Kami ay nakikiisa at sumusuporta sa bill na ipatigil ang kontraktwalization sa gobyerno. Hindi kaila sa atin hindi lang sa private sector ang napaka-mapagsamantalang patakaran na ito mismong sa loob ng bakuran ng gobyerno, nakakabahala ang bilang, almost 720,000 out of 2.3 million government employees or 1 out of every 3 ay non-regular,” (We are one in supporting the bill to put a stop to contractualization in government. It could not be denied that the exploitative policy of contractualization is not only being done by the private sector but also here in government. The number of contractuals is alarming: 720,000 of the 2.3 million government employees.) he said.
The lawmakers also called for scrapping Joint Circular 1, s. 2017 issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Audit (COA) which allows government agencies to hire JOs and Cos.
Castro lambasted Duterte who has yet to fulfill his promise to end “endo.”
“Duterte’s campaign promise was to end ‘endo’ but after almost two years in office, his Cabinet officials have only deceived the public through bogus issuances, the joint circular in government service and Department of Labor and Employment’s Department Order 174 in the private sector that only institutionalizes the current schemes that cause proliferation of non-regular employment,” Castro stressed.
“This issuance, combined with the government’s so-called rightsizing program, will leave thousands of state workers jobless,” she added.
The solons said they are set to join the upcoming “March of Contractuals: March for Regularization” on Tuesday morning, a protest action of the “All GE Unity,” a coalition of organizations of public school teachers, health workers and all civilian personnel nationwide.
Contractual employees in government will protest in front of DBM to call for the scrapping of the joint circular, the end to rationalization and the creation of sufficient plantilla items and their funding in the 2019 budget, the solons said.
“Job security and decent wages are the top demands of the Filipino people. We call on the Duterte administration to fulfill his promise to end contractualization both in the public and private sector,” the lawmakers said as they call on both Houses of Congress to expedite the passage of the bill. (davaotoday.com)