Stop 'endo' order still in the works, Palace says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2018 12:09 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2018 12:29 PM

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MANILA - The signing of an executive order to stop "endo" or end of contract and a meeting with labor groups are not on President Rodrigo Duterte's schedule on Monday, Malacanang said.

Labor groups had said that Duterte could sign such an order on Monday to deliver on his promise to workers during the 2016 campaign. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it would be signed on or before Labor Day.

"I can only surmise that the final version of the EO has not been agreed upon by both labor, management and government. It's a tripartite document which has to be agreed upon. Possibly they don't have a final version yet," Roque told reporters.

"It is a promise given by Presidents to labor groups that there will be an EO that will side with the labor forces. The President wants it as soon as possible. Labor Day is on May 1, so I would think it would come out on or before May 1," he added.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had said several draft executive orders were submitted to the President for his consideration.

Duterte, during the 2016 campaign, described contractualization as an "injustice" that must be stopped. The Department of Labor and Employment hosted months of consultations with stakeholders and released initial guidelines in March last year.

Labor groups had long fought "endo" or ending employment contracts at a specified time and "5-5-5," or terminating employment on the fifth month and renewing it for 5 months at a time.

Under labor laws, an employee must be given regular status on the sixth month of employment. Regular employees are entitled to more benefits such as healthcare.

Even before the executive order was signed on Monday, the DOLE had ordered PLDT Inc and Jollibee Foods Corp to regularize thousands of workers.

A draft from the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Nagkaisa sought to make direct hiring the "general norm in employment relations."

The labor groups' draft did not seek a ban on contractualization but tasked the labor secretary to identify which contractual jobs are not subject to prohibition through a tripartite process.

Some 1.3 million workers are in non-regular positions, according to a Philippine Statistics Authority employment survey released in 2016.

Non-regular workers were described as either contractual, project-based, probationary, casual, or seasonal workers. Over half of the total number of 1.3 million were contractual, the survey showed.