DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The progressive labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno in the Davao Region protest on Thursday to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s “win-win solution” to end the practice of contractualization across the country.
KMU scored the Department of Labor and Employment’s decision to declare hiring agencies and service providers as principal employers, a move that was reached during the consultation with employers.
Carlo Olalo, spokersperson of KMU-SMR said workers will be in peril if DOLE would implement it.
DOLE’s “win-win solution” would have workers hired by agencies receiving the benefits of any regular worker as mandated by the law. They will have a regular status, in the service providing companies, not where they are working.
With this, Olalo said “the principal company could easily cut its contract with service providers to maximize their profit.”
“The proposal would not end contractualization but would instead further legalize and promote exploitative practice, which is opposite with what the President wants,” Olalo said.
Since election campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to end the practice of contractualization in the country.
Last Aug. 1, the President threatened companies who would still practice contractualization, pointing out that he would be unforgiving and intolerant.
“I don’t have tolerance for this. This is my promise to the people and I will do it. Stop it, give the workers the salary that is due them,” he said.
Olalo claimed that Bello’s solution is contradictory to the President’s order.
“It is clear that [President] Duterte’s marching order is to regularize the workers and eliminate contractualization,” Olalo said.
“There should be a direct employer-employee relationship,” he added.
However, in a press conference here on Nov. 30, Bello said that the president is opposed to “the illegal form of contractualization.”
“Ayaw niya ng contractualization pero what the president meant was the illegal form of contractualization. Sa batas merong pinapayagan at meron ding pinagbabawal. So ang gusto ng ating pangulo, wala ng illegal (He does not want contractualization but what the President meant was the illegal form of contractuatlization. In the law there is the allowed and prohibited. So what the President want is to stop the illegal contractualization),” he said.
He said hiring project-based employees and seasonal employees is allowed under the law. Bello said they are currently conducting a study and consultations among sectors to end contractualization.
“For example during Christmas season, big malls need additional sales ladies so they may hire additional personnel. However, if in that mall all of their salesladies are contractual that is illegal because you need salesladies to run the company so they should be regularized,” he said.
Contractualization is a practice where companies hire an employer for only five months. As a result, the employee does not get a permanent status and is not given his or her benefits.(davaotoday.com)