In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo, protesters call for the end of contractualization outside the Department of Labor and Employment building.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File
Creation of more jobs will stop 'endo,' say new faces in Senate race
( - March 3, 2019 - 7:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — The creation of more jobs for Filipinos will put an end to the practice of labor contractualization or “endo” in the country, several senatorial candidates said Sunday.

During ABS-CBN’s “Harapan 2019 Senatorial Town Hall Debates” Sunday afternoon, the senatorial candidates—comprised mostly of labor leaders—were asked how they would solve labor contractualization.

"Endo" is an abusive labor practice where a worker is hired for up to five months to skirt a labor law which requires the granting of permanent tenure on the sixth month of service.

Shariff Albani of Labor Party Philippines, and independent candidates Jesus Caceres and Allan Montaño believe that the creation of more jobs and investment in rural areas will solve “endo.”

“Kaya maraming contractual employees dahil kaunti lang ang trabaho na available. We should create more jobs,” Montaño said.

(The reason why there are a lot of contractual employees is because of the lack of available jobs. We should create more jobs.)

Labor Party Philippines’ Jose Matula, who teaches labor law, suggested stiffer penalty against employers who engage in illegal labor practices.

“Dapat baguhin natin ang batas para maging deterrent sa mga employer na mag-engage sa labor-only contracting,” Matula said

(We need to change the law so it would deter employers from engaging in labor-only contracting.)

Labor Party Philippines bets Melchor Chavez said that early retirement of workers is the key, while Marcelino Arias suggested that employers implement a “profit-sharing” scheme.

Independent candidate Charlie Gaddi, for his part, believes that strengthening the industry will solve the country’s labor woes.

Emily Mallillin, another independent candidate, simply said she would put an end to contractualization if given the chance to serve in the upper chamber.

“Ang tinatamaan ng endo na ‘yan ay ‘yung mga kapwa natin hindi nakatapos, walang degree at mostly mga mahihirap. Bakit parang ibang iba tayo sa lipunan?” Mallillin lamented.

(Those who are affected by endo are those who do not have degrees and mostly the poor. Why does it seem like we’re different in society?)

Gerald Arcega from the Labor Party of the Philippines urged the public to vote those who were present in the afternoon debate as it is the “only way to stop endo.”

Two aspirants said that while they support calls to stop “endo,” the jobs which qualify for long-term and short-term or seasonal should be first discussed.

Jonathan Baldevarona of Filipino Family Party said that he, as a businessman, understands why employers sometimes resort to contractualization.

“Di po pwede na lahat ng trabaho ay maging long-term. Ngayon kung kayo ay nalagay sa trabahong dapat pang-mahabaan, dun po natin i-secure ang inyong employment,” Baldevarona said.

(Not all jobs are meant to be long-term. But if you’re job is supposed to be long-term, then we will secure your employment.)

“‘Yung sa long-term jobs, kailangang tapusin ang endo at contractualization dahil nawawala ang benefits like housing, insurance, Philhealth, maternal leave at 13th month pay. Kailangang mabigyan ng security of tenure ang mga trabahante at of course living wage ang kailangan,” Labor Party Philippines’ Luther Meniano said.

(For long-term jobs, endo must be stopped because it takes away benefits like housing, insurance, Philhealth, maternal leave and 13th month pay. Workers must be given security of tenure and of course, living wage.)

Putting a stop to contractualization was one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On Labor Day of last year, Duterte issued Executive Order 51, prohibiting “illegal contractualization.” The move generated mixed reactions. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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