Isko Moreno says regularization of contractual workers 'least of problems' for now

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2021 12:21 AM

Presidential aspirant at Manila Mayor Isko Moreno noong Setyembre 23, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
Presidential aspirant at Manila Mayor Isko Moreno noong Setyembre 23, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said the regularization of contractual workers will not be an immediate priority of his administration if he wins the 2022 presidential race.

"That's the least of my problems. What I want is for you to have jobs: temporary immediate," Domagoso told reporters in a chance interview after a campaign event in a basket factory in Pampanga.

"Basta maghanap-buhay ka muna. Kapag umuunlad na tayo, balikan natin 'yung issue na 'yun," he said.

(Work first. When we progress, we will get back to that issue.)

Domagoso has been pushing for economic programs to help stimulate businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that thousands of businesses have been struggling to stay afloat due to health restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

Among his platforms are proposals to halve taxes on oil and electricity, and the creation of a "menu" of projects that would guide local government on how to spend additional revenue from an adjustment in their share in the national budget.

"Puwede yan (regularization of contractual workers) kapag maayos na ang sitwasyon ng bansa," the Manila mayor said.

The end of contractualization (endo) - the practice of renewing a worker's contract every 6 months instead of giving them a full employee status with complete benefits - was one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2018, Duterte urged Congress to to pass legislation that will "once and for all" stop illegal contractualization.

In his last year in office, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III urged the Duterte to sign an "endo bill" as urgent, but the President did not even mention the proposal in his last State of the Nation Address.

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