If government doesn’t stop micro-managing business
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

My message to the employers today, here in Baguio Country Club, in the ECOP (Employers' Confederation of the Philippines) general membership meeting is succinct, simple and straight-to-the-point: Do not allow government to take over managing your businesses and leading your people.

Businessmen, industrialists, traders, stand up for your economic rights. Assert yourself. Refuse to be dictated. This is still a free country with the free enterprise system supposed to be working. Let the government govern the nation and let public officials leave business alone. The government should focus on protecting our national territory from foreign invaders and protecting our people from alien domination and internal subversion.

Let the government preserve and protect our peace and order, promote general welfare and implement public education, public health and social services. Let government administer justice, arrest all criminals, not release them for money or malice. Manage our prisons professionally and do not release convicts of heinous crimes who are recidivists and habitual rapists, murderers, arsonists, and plunderers. But leave the economy to be managed by private entrepreneurs. Government should stay away from private enterprise. It is the exclusive domain of businessmen.

If government cannot even defend our territories from the open and aggressive invasion by China and other major powers in the region, why should government waste its limited resources in telling businessmen how to manage their people. If the executive cannot even execute our laws in order to administer equal justice for all, why would public officials enforce prior restraint in hiring, disciplining and firing of employees. If government keeps on hiring hundreds of thousands of job order workers who do not even have social security protection, without PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG privileges, what is the moral ascendancy of government to tell principal employers to absorb the workers belonging to legitimate service contractors. If they cannot even run the prisons well, why would government poke its fingers in the jobs of HR managers, from hiring to retiring.

If the judiciary cannot even decide cases expeditiously and inexpensively, taking many years to resolve labor disputes as simple as illegal dismissal and money claims, why would government through the DOLE disturb industrial peace by sending neophytes as inspectors who do not understand the pains and difficulties in making business survive in a globalized and highly competitive business arena. There is peace in the workplace and then here comes the inspectors who prejudge the situation and declares that there are labor standards violations involving thousands of workers, after hastily asking a question or two to one or two employees. Then, the inspectors act as accuser, prosecutor, judge and executioner all rolled into one, threatening to slap huge fines for simple lapses in housekeeping and records management.

Why doesn't the government apply labor laws upon itself? Look at how much they are paying the job order workers, below the minimum. The government gives the dirty, difficult, dangerous and degrading work to the job order workers, and refuses to provide them basic safety and health protection. If these poor workers die while on duty, even if the death is work-connected, they are not covered by PhilHealth, nor by the employees or workmen’s compensation. The government does not allow job order workers to unionize for purposes of collective bargaining, not even for mutual aid and protection. And this government claims that there is no employer-employee relationship between the agencies and these poor workers. If so, why impose too harsh conditions on private businesses when government itself violates its own labor laws?

If government does not stop twisting the arms of the private sector, while declaring itself exempted from its own high and mighty laws, policies and standards, then it is government itself that ''kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.'' It is government itself that ruins the economy. It is government itself, and not business, that is the true enemy of the people. It is then government itself that is destroying the nation.


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