Labor groups hit Duterte: Where’s signed EO vs contractualization?

Aika Rey
Labor groups hit Duterte: Where’s signed EO vs contractualization?
Once again, President Rodrigo Duterte fails to sign the proposed executive order ending contractualization on his self-imposed deadline

MANILA, Philippines – Labor groups on Thursday, March 15, marched to Mendiola to denounce President Rodrigo Duterte for again missing his own deadline to sign an executive order (EO) ending contractualization.

“Dinidribble-dribble ng Malacañang at even DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) ‘yung pagpasa ng executive order at [pinapaasa] na naman ang mga manggagawa,” Kilusang Mayo Uno leader Bong Labog told Rappler.

(Malacañang and even DOLE are delaying the passage of the executive order and they’re just leading the workers on.)

Back in February, Duterte had told the labor groups to give him until March 15 to sign the EO.

Labor groups first met with the President on February 27, 2017, then on May 1, 2017, and in February this year, but no EO has been finalized yet.

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod told Rappler in a text message that they are seeking another meeting with Duterte this month to talk about the EO.

Labog said Duterte should stick to his campaign promise of ending contractualization and stop bluffing. (READ: Ending contractualization needs 2 urgent actions from Duterte)

“Paulit-ulit lamang [ang pag-extend ng deadline] at tuloy ang pambobola. Eh taon na ang inabot nito at wala pang konkretong, seryosong pag-address sa usapin ng mga manggagawa at seryosong pagbasurang tuluyan ng kontraktwalisasyon,” said Labog.

(The deadline has been moved repeatedly and the bluffing goes on. It’s been a year since talks started, but labor issues have not been concretely, seriously addressed and contractualization has yet to be junked completely.)

The proposed EO was drafted by labor groups. Maglunsod earlier denied allegations that the labor department is delaying the signing of the EO, saying that the draft needs to be studied by Duterte’s legal advisers first.

In March 2017, DOLE issued Department Order (DO) No. 174, setting stricter guidelines for contractualization. Labor groups, however, said that the DO only “legalizes” the end-of-contract scheme.

Last year, DOLE was able to regularize at least 125,000 of the 200,000 contractual workers it planned to put in permanent positions. There are an estimated 1.3 million contractual employees in the country. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at