Duterte to meet with labor groups on February 27

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte granted the labor sector's longtime request to have a dialogue with him regarding his promise of ending contractualization. 

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Duterte will meet with the labor groups on February 27. 

Bello expressed optimism that this meeting could finally lead to a compromise between employers and workers in crafting the policy of ending contractualization. (READ: No 'endo' in 2017? Challenge of ending labor contractualization

Ending the decades-long "endo" (end of contract) practice is among the most popular campaign promises of the President. 

As early as January this year, labor coalition Nagkaisa urged Duterte to meet with them so that they can air their concerns about the direction being taken by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The groups under Nagkaisa oppose DOLE's plan to sign a department order (DO) that will require the agencies or contractors – instead of main employers – to regularize their workers. The anticipated DO will replace DO-18, which provides the rules on contracting that have been abused by some manpower agencies.

Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say earlier said Bello is eyeing to sign the DO on Tuesday, February 14, to serve as a Valentine's gift to labor groups. But upon the confirmation of the dialogue with the President, Bello said the DO will be deferred until after February 27 to consolidate feedback from the stakeholders. – Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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