Philippine Daily Inquirer
TIME’S UP ON ‘ENDO’
Contractualization was a top issue during the 2016 presidential election. And it was President Duterte who made a campaign promise that the moment he becomes the chief executive, contractualization will stop.
The trade union movement responded with enthusiasm and accorded the President the courtesy and latitude of managing his plans by participating in all the summits, workshops, and dialogues organized by the government on this issue. Several times he asked leaders of Nagkaisa labor coalition that he be given more time to realize his pledge—the first was on Feb. 27, 2017, then on May 1, 2017, and the last was on Feb. 7, 2018. He asked for another extension until March 15.
On these occasions, President Duterte would always say that contractualization is antilabor and antipoor as it brings hardship and poverty to millions of our workers. Furthermore, it was also the President who asked Nagkaisa leaders during the Labor Day dialogue held in Davao last year to draft within 10 days an executive order that he can sign to correct the labor-rejected Department Order No. 174 issued by the Department of Labor and Employment in March last year, and to rectify the more than two decades of failed framework of regulation. Nagkaisa religiously complied with all these processes and waited for the final response of the President.
Now, a few days before his self-imposed deadline and the President is no longer asking for time and more drafts, but for a compromise. The buck stops now with President Duterte. The labor-drafted EO, which seeks to bring back direct hiring and institutionalize prohibition as the general rule on contractualization, but recognizes that there are types of jobs that can be contracted out as along as it passes through consultation with the National Tripartite and Industrial Peace Council, is the fairest middle ground or “compromise” that labor can take. A watered-down version of an EO is unacceptable. RENE MAGTUBO, spokesperson, Nagkaisa Labor Coalition