MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order (EO) that prohibits illegal contracting and subcontracting on May 1, Labor Day.
Duterte signed the EO at the start of his speech during a Labor Day event in Cebu City. A copy of the order was made available to the media only the next day, on Wednesday, May 2.
Section 2 of the EO spells out “a prohibition against illegal contracting and subcontracting.”
Labor groups, however, had wanted a section that prohibits all forms of contracting or subcontracting, thereby making direct hiring the norm in employment relations.
The EO prohibits any contracting or subcontracting arrangement “undertaken to circumvent the workers’ right to security of tenure, self-organization, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted activities.”
It defines security of tenure as the “right of employees not to be dismissed or removed without just and authorized cause and observance of procedural due process consistent with the Labor Code, as amended.”
The EO considers a company engaged in illegal contracting or subcontracting as the “direct employer of the contractors or subcontractors’ workers for all legal purposes.”
It reiterated provisions in the Labor Code authorizing the labor secretary to inspect establishments in order to investigate abusive labor practices.
“[I hope] that with all I can do legally, there will be an impact on your complaint on security of tenure,” the President said.
Duterte was supposed to sign the EO as early as April 16. Three days later, Malacañang announced that Duterte supposedly agreed with the position of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) not to issue an EO on endo, and instead just push for the passage of a measure strengthening the security of tenure of workers. (READ: TIMELINE: Duterte’s promise to abolish endo)
In a news briefing on April 19, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that an EO on endo would become pointless if not enforced strictly, as penalties should be imposed on erring establishments which an EO cannot provide for.
On Tuesday, Duterte reiterated this position, saying the EO would “not be enough” and that Congress should pass pending bills on security of tenure. – Rappler.com