Labor leader De Guzman vows to push for workers-backed endo bill

Camille Elemia
'Itong time na ito dahil ang layo na nang inabot ng kaunlaran, siguro ito panahon na para bigyang biyaya ang mga manggagawa,' says senatorial bet Leody de Guzman


LABOR REP. Senatorial bet Leody de Guzman (far right) vows to push for a workers-backed bill against labo contractualization. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Senatorial candidate and labor leader Leody de Guzman vowed to push for a workers-approved bill against contractualization, as he called on firms to share their progress with laborers.

During Rappler’s #TheLeaderIWant senatorial forum on Monday, March 4, De Guzman said he is the right person to craft the endo bill because he comes from the labor sector.

It is high time, he added, to have a labor representative in the Senate.

“Itong time na ito dahil ang layo na nang inabot ng kaunlaran, siguro ito panahon na para bigyang biyaya ang mga manggagawa. Kung gagawa ako ng isang batas na magbabawal ng sistema ng contractualization…. [Ako] ay isang manggagagawa [ang gagawa] para lutong-luto ‘yung pagkakagawa, hindi half-baked,” De Guzman said.

(This time, maybe because we have gone far, maybe it’s time to share the blessings with laborers. If I were to craft a bill that would ban contractualization, it won’t be half-baked because I come from the work force.)

Under his bill, De Guzman said there would be no middlemen or manpower agencies that will burden workers.

“Dapat mawala ‘yung third-party, middleman na kumokotong din sa amin. Dahil sa mahabang panahon, wala namang middleman, may maayos na [employee-employer] relationship at naging maganda naman ang takbo ng negosyo,” he said.

(The middlemen or third-party firms that burden us should be removed. Because for the longest time, there was no middleman yet there was a good [employee-employer] relationship and business was good.)

During the 2016 campaign, then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte vowed to end labor contractualization.

In May 2018, he signed an executive order supposedly ending it. But labor groups opposed the EO, saying it was not the draft they prepared and negotiated with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The order did not include the provision that labor groups wanted – a stipulation that prohibits all forms of contracting and makes direct hiring the only legal arrangement. (READ: TIMELINE: Duterte’s promise to abolish endo)

In September 2018, Duterte certified as urgent the endo bill. The House of Representatives already approved it but the Senate is still deliberating on the measure. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email