DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Saying that labor contractualization is still alive under the Department of Labor and Employment Order No. 174, members of the militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno pressed on Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte to junk the latest guideline.
“As long as the DOLE’s DO 174 is in place, Duterte’s promise to end contractualization cannot be fulfilled. DOLE’s guidelines only serve to legitimize the massive hiring of contractual workers through manpower agencies which would only result in a massacre of regular jobs in the country,” KMU chairperson Elmer Labog said.
As the labor department is bent on keeping the controversial order, KMU feared that DO 174 “would even result in the massacre of regular jobs in the country.”
This as the labor group claimed that DO 174 merely upholds the provisions of the Articles 106-109 of the Labor Code that legalized job contracting and led to the proliferation of contractualization in the country.
“By upholding the labor code provisions that legalized job contracting, the DO 174 further ceases any employer-employee relationship between worker and his principal employer from which the right to security of tenure is based. These are the same provisions that are used by capitalists to retrench thousands of regular workers only to be rehired as contractuals,” Labog said.
Labog also scored the claim of Secretary Silvestre Bello that the labor code grants authority to the labor secretary to prohibit or regulate contractualization.
“Bello has the power to prohibit contractualization. He chose not to. Instead, his DO 174 adopted contractualization as the government’s employment policy and taught employers how to circumvent labor laws to make their gross violation of workers’ rights and dignity legal,” he pointed out.
KMU vowed to mount a nationally-coordinated protest to pursue their call of scrapping the “pro-contractualization” order of DOLE.
On Wednesday, KMU led a protest action with hundreds of contractual workers stormed the DOLE main office in Intramuros to express their outrage over the new order.
Labog said that today’s nationwide protest is part of a series of workers’ protest for regular jobs, living wages, social justice and just peace which will culminate in a rally of over a hundred thousand workers on May 1, International Labor Day. (davaotoday.com)