Worker-friendly contractualization policy seen by Labor Day

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may sign an executive order (EO) on labor contractualization on or before May 1, Labor Day, Malacañang said Monday, April 16.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President remains committed to fulfilling his campaign promise to come up with an EO "that will side with the labor forces."

Roque said Duterte was "restive," as he made a vow to put an end to any unlawful form of contractualization under his watch.

"I know that the President is rather restive about this EO. He has mentioned to me personally that it is a campaign promise that he wants to deliver to the people very soon," the presidential spokesperson said in a press conference.

"The President wants it as soon as possible. We all know that Labor Day is May 1 so I would think that it will come out on or before May 1," he added.

Roque's latest remark dispelled reports that Duterte would sign the EO on contractualization on April 16.

On April 14, labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines raised the possibility that the President would sign the final version of the EO ending contractualization on April 16, in a bid to live up to his pledge to push for the regularization of contractual employees.

Roque said the supposed signing of the EO did not materialize because the government and labor groups may have failed to agree on a "final version" of the document.

"I can only surmise that the final verson of the EO has not been agreed upon by both labor management and government," he said.

Duterte was initially expected to sign by March 15 an EO that would prohibit the unfair practice of short-term and unprotected temporary work arrangements between employers and workers.

He, however, failed to meet the target date of signing the EO.

Malacañang had admitted that Duterte's proposed EO would not totally prohibit contractualization because of its "limitations." It had stressed that only Congress can stop the illegal practice of contractualization by drafting a measure that would amend the country's Labor Code. (SunStar Philippines)
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