CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – There is no need for Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to sign an executive order (EO) or for Congress to pass a legislation banning the illegal contractualization of workers since the same law has already been stipulated in Article 106 of the Philippine Labor Code, a labor group leader said on Tuesday, May 1.
“There is no need to sign an EO. Why is there a need for it (EO) since he can order the Labor secretary to implement Article 106 of the Labor Code? It’s very clear in the Article 106 that labor-only contracting is illegal,” said Wildon Barros, secretary-general of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Northern Mindanao.
Since the Department of Labor is a branch of the government’s executive power, Barros said Duterte can simply gave an order to Dole secretary Silvestre Bello to implement the Labor Code’s provision.
“Duterte has the power to order the Labor department to implement Article 106 to abolish contractualization,” he said.
“The workers are the ones on the losing end. They are being passed around like a basketball. Duterte said he will sign the EO and then he also said he will ask Congress to pass a law prohibiting it. But all he has to do is order Dole to enforce an already existing labor law,” Barros added.
Article 106 states, “The Secretary of Labor and Employment may, by appropriate regulations, restrict or prohibit the contracting-out of labor to protect the rights of workers established under this Code.”
Duterte’s signing of the EO coincided with the nationwide observance of the Labor Day which was commemorated with protest actions around the country.
In Cagayan de Oro, there were around hundred of members of KMU and other protesters who attended the mass action at the Divisoria park on Tuesday morning.
Chief Insp. Julius Clark Macariola, Divisoria police station commander, placed the crowd in attendance at around 300 persons.
Macariola noted that the protest was peaceful although platoons of anti-riot police and a bomb squad team were deployed at the site to secure the protesters.
He said they made it clear to the protesters that burning of effigies and other objects are prohibited at the park.
Meanwhile, more than a thousand jobseekers trooped to a mall here to apply for various job vacancies made available during the two-day Dole Mega Jobs Fair, which kicked in time for the Labor Day observance on May 1.
According to lawyer Maria Gloria Tango, Dole assistant secretary, they expect around 3,000 job hunters for the two-day event which is also called the “Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan” (TNK), initiated by the Labor department, now its second year.
“Aside from the jobs fair, we also have a livelihood fair and a trade fair, held in one venue,” Tango said.
Mildred Dablio, Dole-10 information officer, said that during the two-day jobs fair, 14,975 vacancies were available from 118 companies, 96 of which are local firms needing 7,602 additional workers, and nine government agencies hiring 2,234 new employees. Also participating are 13 agencies which will hire 5,139 applicants for overseas employment.
For Marejean Aguiñot, 25, going to the fair is another step towards landing a high-paying job.
A native of Butuan City, Aguiñot graduated at the Agusan Colleges with a degree in Business Administration. She is currently a secretary at an appliance center based here and she is hoping to get hired as a sales accountant of a food-processing company.
“I want a bigger salary that’s why I applied for another job, although I am not certain if I get hired or not. But I believe I have the skills and experience necessary for the vacancy I was applying for,” she said. (davaotoday.com)