January 30, 2018
TUCP WELCOMES GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF “ENDO” AND CONTRACTUALIZATION
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) welcomes the passage of House Bill 6908 on Third Reading on January 29, 2018 at the House of Representatives.
“TUCP believes passage of House Bill 6908 is a major step forward towards meeting the promise of President Duterte to workers. However, labor must remain vigilant and exert further efforts to obtain more labor reforms,” said TUCP President Raymond Mendoza.
“While it does not end “endo” and contractualization, the bill provides for stricter and more requirements to register as a job contractor. The proposed legislation also imposes heavier fines for violators. Before, violators were only given a tap on the wrist. This penalty is necessary to protect workers from exploitative agency hiring and “endo”. HB 6908 is a major step forward towards meeting President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s promise to workers. We hope that it will be passed soon by the House of Representatives,” added Mendoza who also sits as the Representative of the TUCP Partylist in Congress and a Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
“It is now clear under the House Bill, that to declare a contractor as engaged in illegal “labor-only” contracting, just one of the 3 following criteria has to be determined: First, the contractor does not have substantial investment, tools or equipment. Second, if the contractor has no control of the workers’ methods and means of accomplishing their work. Third, if workers are performing activities which are directly related and necessary to the principal business of employer. If declared LOC, the principal employer shall be responsible to the workers as if he directly employed them,” explained Rep. Mendoza.
“Under the current law, so many things have to be established against an agency or contractor to prove that there is illegal labor-only contracting. Under the proposed bill, it will be simpler to go after the contractor. This will ensure regularization of anywhere from 2 million to 6 million workers,” Mendoza added.
Under HB 6908, work once contracted out cannot be further subcontracted out. Fixed-term employment will also be prohibited.
“It is incorrect when employers complain that the House Bill wants workers regularized under both the principal employer and also under the agency or contractor. Make no mistake: we want workers regularized under the principal employer not the agency. The agency is only the vehicle used by the employers to avoid their legal, social and financial obligations towards their workers. We all need to help regularize more workers to make our society more fair and equitable. Workers receiving their just due will be the ones buying the goods and services pump-priming our growing economy,” argued Mendoza.
TUCP said that the fear of employers that businesses will shut down is not well founded. The strict requirement of the House Bill, on the contrary, will protect business from unscrupulous contractors. This measure will be preventive and protective from such unscrupulous contractors for both employers & workers.
The labor center also welcomes the announcement of DOLE Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III on the forthcoming issuance of an Executive Order (EO) by President Duterte on strengthening the workers security of tenure and addressing the problem of contractualization. TUCP pushed for the EO’s framework that will prohibit contractualization with a process of exemptions. Under the EO, contractualization and subcontracting, when done in contravention of security of tenure, right to organize and right to bargain collectively is prohibited. The EO explains that security of tenure refers to the direct hiring relationship between the principal employer and employee. Exemptions to the prohibition of contractualization under the EO shall be through unanimous agreement in the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) in conjunction with the DOLE Secretary.
“If the EO is signed soon, it will send a strong signal to Congress on how the Administration stand on contractualization. It will affect both the House and Senate deliberations given the super majority of the Administration in Congress. We in TUCP and of course with our coalition partners in Nagkaisa, call for continued struggle and vigilance by the workers to protect these gains and to seek more reforms to put a finish to “endo”, Mendoza finally added.
For inquiries please contact:
Rep. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza
TUCP President and TUCP Partylist Representative
Vicente C. Camilon Jr.
Assistant General Secretary and Spokesperson
Tel: 9223199 Mobile: 09771968517