Cebu City — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, May 1, signed an executive order on contractualization particularly prohibiting the illegal contracting and sub-contracting of workers.
President Duterte signed the order in front of thousands of workers and jobseekers gathered at the IEC Convention Center in Barangay Mabolo here to celebrate the 116th Labor Day.
“More than a century has passed since the very first Labor Day was celebrated and yet the struggle for a better life for our beloved workers continues,” he said in his speech.
“I assure you that this government will never cease in its efforts to provide every Filipino worker with full, dignified and meaningful employment. They deserve no less than decent and comfortable lives,” he added.
The full text of the order was read by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
He said the order “shall apply to all parties including cooperatives engaged in any contracting and subcontracting arrangement.”
“Prohibition against illegal contracting or sub-contracting, when undertaken to circumvent the workers’ right to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining and peaceful concerted activities pursuant to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, is hereby strictly prohibited,” he added.
“Security of tenure refers to the right of employees not to be dismissed or removed without just or authorized cause in observance of procedural due process consistent with the Constitution, the Labor Code as amended, and prevailing jurisprudence,” he further said.
The President admitted that a mere executive order was not enough to put an end to endo and illegal contractualization.
He stressed that Congress needs to enact a law amending the Labor Code in order to implement an effective and lasting solution to the problems brought about by contractualization.
“I think Congress should come up with a new Labor Code to keep it attuned to the realities of our time,” he said noting that the Labor Code was already “outdated.”
To further address the issue on contractualization, the Chief Executive said that he has certified as urgent the passage of the bill on security of tenure to provide long-term solutions that would further strengthen the worker’s right to security of tenure.
“So you have to amend or correct or i-recommend the entire revision or revisit the previous laws,” he said.
The President also directed the Department of Labor and Employment to submit a list of all the companies engaged in or suspected to be engaged in labor-only contracting.
“To all non-compliant and abusive employers, and their so-called ‘cabo,’ who are engaged in [labor-only] contracting, your days are numbered,” he said.
“I have warned you before and I warn you again: stop endo and illegal contractualization. I will see to it that our laws are strictly enforced. The government will not rest until we end this shameful labor practice,” he added.
For this year’s Labor Day celebration, the President said the government is also pushing for better protection of migrant workers especially those in the vulnerable groups such as the household service workers in the Middle East.
“All avenues to boost the level of protection for our kababayans abroad will be pursued, particularly those who are in Kuwait,” he said.
“We must also make sure that the necessary protection for the OFWs leaving for Kuwait are in place before they are allowed to be deployed,” he added.
For the local workforce, Duterte said the government is also working to bring jobseekers and entrepreneurs closer together to open employment and business opportunities to Filipino workers.
“We will provide various Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan Job and Business Fair sites nationwide, where more than 140,000 job vacancies from private employers will be made available,” the President said.
He also announced that close to 8,000 vacancies in government agencies are open for qualified applicants.
Aside from that, he said the labor department will also award livelihood projects worth P93 million to more than 10,000 informal sector workers.
The trade department, meanwhile, will give training and other assistance through Negosyo Centers. Diskwento Caravans will also be open to workers to provide them basic commodities at discounted prices.
“We continue to strengthen efforts to provide our beloved overseas Filipino workers with decent work, humane treatment, better working conditions and social protection,” the President said.
“We shall ensure the reintegration of repatriated overseas Filipino workers by helping them and their families through grant of loans, livelihood packages, scholarships, skills training and employment opportunities,” he added. PND