DAVAO CITY, Philippines – During a Labor Day event attended by thousands of workers, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to sign an executive order (EO) with stricter provisions against the end-of-contract scheme or "endo."
"I stand firm in my conviction to stop 'endo.' Workers have right to security of tenure. To this end, I will create an executive order directing strict provisions against 'endo,'" said the President on Labor Day, May 1.
In a closed-door meeting with labor groups before his speech, Duterte asked labor leaders to draft an EO against "endo." He also promised to review existing policies against the abusive practice.
"He is going to issue an executive order to review DO (Department Order) 174 and asked labor leaders to propose a draft for a new order against contractualization that he will consider," said Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula. (READ: 'Legal' contractualization still allowed in new DOLE order)
To boost his administration's fight against "endo," Duterte said the government will hire more labor inspectors.
A lack of inspectors is a major reason why the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is not able to crack down on more companies with abusive labor practices.
He gave authority to the DOLE to deputize trade union leaders as inspectors to augment manpower. This has been a long-standing suggestion from labor groups. (READ: Duterte to companies: Stop contractualization or I will close you)
As another offering to labor groups, Duterte promised to ratify International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 151 which will give all Filipino government workers the right to form unions.
It is not clear if any of these promises is the "surprise" Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III promised Duterte will announce for workers on Labor Day.
During his speech, Duterte asked them for more time to fulfill his campaign promise to end contractualization.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.