Rules Allowing Agency Hiring Rejected Anew by Workers Groups

The anticipated new Department Order (D.O.) on endo is finally out for issuance today. But rejection can only be the immediate response of organized labor for the kind of rules that speak about prohibiting contractualization but ends up allowing agency hiring in many forms.

The Labor Secretary has ignored the overwhelming demand of trade unions and workers’ associations to prohibit contractualization since the previous administrations and which the groups continue to articulate in all official consultative processes called for by the DOLE and national tripartite conferences from the beginning of the Duterte Administration.

The President then was very clear: “Ayoko sa agency agency, wala na dapat itong agency agency,” declared the President during the labor dialogue last February 27. The labor movement, likewise, was very insistent: The current policy is a failure, thus, the government must now shift to prohibition.

Workers were demanding prohibition on contractualization based on the following grounds:

The current policy of “allow then regulate” has failed the workers and this nation. A country of endos is a nation of poor, violated, and voiceless people.

It is immoral as it allows employers to save on labor cost and avoid having direct responsibility to their workers while their middlemen (agencies and cooperatives) earn profit from the same exploitative trading transaction.

It is anti-labor because it violates all the fundamental rights of labor.

It is anti-development as it exacerbates poverty and deepens inequality in our country.

By ensuring continuity and stability of agency hiring, the new D.O. will never put an end but rather perpetuate the epidemic of contractualization.

1. It prohibits labor-only-contracting (LOC) and the cabo system which is already prohibited by law anyway;

2. While it prohibits the contractualization of jobs directly related to main business and subject to control of principal, interpretation disputes shall mean expensive an wearisome litigations in DOLE, NLRC and the courts;

3. Only in-house agencies and labor cooperatives are not allowed to operate. Independent contractors are permitted;

4. The DO opens floodgates to agencies to set up shops. This will enhance cutthroat competition among contractors bidding down salaries and benefits of their employees;

5. The more contractuals the country will have, the harder to monitor and regulate. DOLE’s inspection capacity is a chronic problem that also has to be addressed.

It is still a sad day for workers. But the struggle continues. It’s time for a full court press and nationwide actions. We thus demand that Pres. Duterte issue an Executive Order in place of this bad order and certify as an urgent measure HB4444 that seeks the prohibition of contractualization and the criminalization of such offense

PRESS STATEMENT
NAGKAISA
17 March 2017
Contact: Ka Rene Magtubo, Spokesperson
09178532905

NOW MORE THAN EVER IS THE TIME TO MARCH, RESIST, STRUGGLE!

Filipino women from across all sectors have fought long and tough struggles — and have won many.  In the past decades, we asserted for better working conditions for workers, pushed for lands for farmers and decent housing for the urban poor, fought and brought down a dictatorship, claimed our reproductive rights, and resisted sexual and other forms of violence against women.

However, conditions around the world, and in particular, in Philippine society, are far from achieving gender equality and ending misogyny. Especially in these times when forces promoting patriarchal and anti-poor policies return to power.

In the labor front, working women are far from enjoying job security as most of them are in the service industry, where all forms of contractual arrangements are prevalent. Women’s multiple burden is aggravated by ENDO as they toil in difficult conditions in work places and remain to carry the bigger part of house chores.

Women in the agriculture sector have been able to gain lands titled to their own names, but their struggle for land rights is far from over. The Department of Agrarian Reform budget was reduced by P241.9 million compared to the previous year. DAR estimates a balance of 621,085 hectares for land acquisition and distribution. Meanwhile, land-owning and business interests continue to push back through land claim reversals.

Indigenous women’s strength and power are slowly being recognized in their communities and in society at large. However, they are forcibly weakened by lack of food security due to the exploitation of natural resources for profit, while the violence wrought by government and private security forces of mining, logging and plantation companies push them to silence.

The Reproductive Health law was passed in December 2012 but its implementation has been significantly hampered by the limitations of rights through the Supreme Court decisions and the weak RH services and budget support in the public health sector.

The RH programs and all other economic, social and cultural programs are also being threatened in the communities by the extra-judicial killings that affect residents as well as community organizers.

On top of all these social-economic struggles, the forces of sexism and misogynistic violence have been further unleashed and kindled, especially under the new government of Rodrigo Duterte. Mr. Duterte doesn’t hide how he belittles women not only through his openly sexist remarks, which he often excuses as mere ‘jokes’.

On Women’s Day eve, the House of Representatives passed the Death Penalty bill, which women vehemently opposed, as it solidifies a patriarchal criminal justice system. For decades, we worked with other sectors for its abolition as it does not address the root causes of criminality, and instead propagates the patriarchal culture of vindictiveness.

Under Duterte’s war on drugs, increasing number of women, including lesbian and transwomen, accused as being drug users without benefit of just trial have been executed by the police and vigilante killers.  None have been punished for these extrajudicial killings for the president would prefer to exterminate those he perceives as dregs of society rather than to create a society where the unemployed would find productive, secure employment; where the poor would have decent lives and livelihood so they wouldn’t have to resort to drug use and selling–a society that nurtures, empowers women and all its citizens, and where impunity and violence would have no place.

The Filipino women have persisted amidst all these challenges in the past. The Filipino women will not be cowed, not now, not ever. We shall always rise to the occasion to struggle and defend our victories; to further fight for and realize our rights. We shall not allow the forces of misogyny, of death, of all kinds of violence against women to overcome us.

On March 8, 2017 women from urban poor communities, from factories, from offices, from the rural areas, the peasant and indigenous women alike, and from schools shall come out to show to the these forces that we are persisting, we are resisting, we are reclaiming our spaces, our rights, our lives.

 

Alab Katipunan • Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) • Amnesty International – Philippines • Bagong Kamalayan • Batis AWARE • Buklod • Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) • Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific • Focus on the Global South • Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) • In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement • Freedom from Debt Coalition – Women’s Committee • KAISA-KA • KAMP • Kilos Maralita • LIKHAAN • LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) • Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) • Partido Manggagawa • PAHRA • Piglas Kababaihan • Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) • SALIGAN • SARILAYA • SENTRO • SPELL • Transform Asia • Union of Students for the Advancement of Democracy (USAD Ateneo) • UNYPHIL-Women • WomanHealth Phils. • Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) • Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE) • World March of Women – Pilipinas • numerous courageous individuals

 

DOLE must enforce ‘prohibit order’ on contractualization

President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders are clear: Stop contractualization! No agency hiring!

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III received these marching orders from the President during the labor dialogue last Monday.  He was instructed to work on a new draft Department Order and to address the related plea of PALEA on outsourcing.

“As the alter ego of the President, Sec. Bello is hard pressed to comply with the order and to abide with the demand of workers without further delay,” said Nagkaisa chairman, Michael Mendoza.

Through a symbolic pressing of time button, the group declared a 30-day countdown for DOLE to come up with new rules prohibiting contractualization.

Junk win-win

The group noted that the latest draft of the issuance, distributed in January, still reflects the DTI and employers formula of legitimizing manpower agencies and regulating their practices.

“In the light of the President’s latest instructions, Sec. Bello should junk its draft and adopt Nagkaisa’s proposed DO, which seeks prohibition of contractualization, as the new working draft,” added Mendoza

On orders of the President, Sec. Bello is to convene the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) to discuss the new draft order. The TIPC, composed of workers and employers representatives serves as the clearinghouse of all labor polices, with the power to endorse proposed issuances to the DOLE Secretary.

“Should there be another deadlock at this level, we will expect the Secretary to decide along the line of prohibition agreed upon at the Palace,” stressed Mendoza.

The coalition is likewise hopeful that HB4444 authored by Rep, Raymond Mendoza of the TUCP Partylist, which seeks total prohibition and criminalization of contractualization offenses, will gain ground in Congress once certified by the President.

Once contractualization is finally prohibited, the rights of workers to security of tenure, to unionize and bargain collectively will be restored.

However, Mendoza called on workers to continue working together and be vigilant as the enemies of the working class will surely find ways to prevent workers from achieving total victory against contractualization and other forms of exploitation.

Women march against endo

Women make up more than half of contractual workers. Hence, led the Women’s Committee of Nagkaisa, women workers will continue to exert pressure on the DOLE to stop contractualization.

On March 6, two days before International Women’s Day, women workers will march from Plaza Salamanca to the DOLE offices in Intramuros. Among their calls are, “Sa multiple burden ko, dagdag pa ang endo”, “Sa regular jobs, may forever,” and “Endo itigil na, now na!”

Rights for public sector workers

While calling for a stop to contractualization in civil service, public sector unions has also secured a commitment from the President to ratify ILO Convention 151.

According to Annie Geron of the Public Services Independent Labor Confederation (PSLINK) which is affiliated with Public Services International (PSI), Convention 151 is an international labor standard that recognizes the rights of public sector workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

WE FOUGHT TO BE FREE. WE SAY NEVER AGAIN TO DICTATORSHIP

Unity Statement by February 25 Coalition

This month we celebrate the People Power Revolution of February 1986, the event that finally put an end to the Marcos dictatorship.

This extraordinary event capped our long years of suffering and struggle. For the regime of Ferdinand Marcos violated our people with torture and imprisonment, displacement and impoverishment, in numbers that have moved even international courts to pass judgment. It was a regime that crushed dissent, even as it plundered the economy, leaving the country with a debt so huge, the next generations will still be making its payments.

Three million people took to the streets in February 1986 to tell that regime they’ve had enough. Millions more gathered in other parts of the country demanding an end to the abusive rule. The people prevailed.

It was an extraordinary time of heroism and resolve, when Filipinos, united in heart and purpose, stopped tanks, converted hardened soldiers, ousted a dictator, and gave democracy a new breath of life.

This year, 2017, People Power has become even more relevant. The Marcos family, which to this day is propped up by stolen wealth, has resurrected itself in politics, setting its sights on nothing less than the biggest prize, Malacañang.

Its expensive and relentless campaign to overturn historical truth and erase the horror of martial law–of which the burial of its patriarch, the dictator Ferdinand, at a cemetery for heroes is an integral part— indicate a clear and present danger.
The institutions of modern democracy that we built in the years since 1986 are young, weak, and vulnerable to a resurgent and aggressive despotism.

Clearly, the tools of dictatorship are being resurrected–from the open threat to suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus to the constant danger of having martial law declared, to the subversion of civilian and democratic rule, to the gross violation of human rights.

Already, over 7,000 men, women, and children have lost their lives in killings patently without regard for their fundamental rights as citizens.

These events are akin to the brutalities under the Marcos dictatorship.

We now face the resurgence of nothing less than authoritarian rule.

The February 25 Coalition calls on all citizens to commemorate the 31st anniversary of People Power in the Philippines by remembering that we, the people, are the true sovereign in our Republic.

We challenge the nation to remember our dark history under the dictatorship and to commit to the cause of protecting our hard-won freedoms.

We call upon all citizens to assert our sovereign will and resist all efforts to subvert civilian democratic rule and to revive dictatorship in new forms.

We call on our government to respect the basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution, and to uphold the value of every individual life.

Stop the killings!

We call on People Power to rise again. Whatever our differences, all Filipinos are united in desiring respect for human rights, justice, peace, prosperity, and our prideful place in the world of nations. Let us fight for our rights, for historical truth, and justice. Let us defend democracy as the only road to peace and progress.

We cannot allow dictatorship to happen ever again in our country.

Celebrate and Remember Our People’s Power!
Defend Our Rights and History!
Resist the Re-Imposition of Dictatorship!
Respect and Uphold Life, Dignity and Human Rights! Stop the Killings!

Alab Katipunan
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Akbayan Party
Akbayan! Youth
August Twenty One Movement (ATOM)
Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation
Bente Uno
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN)
Claimants 1081
Coalition Against the Marcos Burial (CAMB)
Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees, Inc.
KASAPI
Kilos Maralita (KM)
Lingap Bilanggo
Manila SUCs Coalition
Millennials Against Dictators (MAD)
NeverAgain: No to Dictators, to Martial Law, to a Marcos Return to Power
Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)
Pandayan para sa Sosyalistang Pilipinas (PANDAYAN)
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Partido Manggagawa (PM)
People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR)
People Power Volunteers for Reform-Youth (PPVR-Youth)
People’s Movement for Democratic Governance (PMDG)
Philippine Stagers Foundation
PILIPINA – Kilusan ng Kababaihang Pilipino
Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)
Samahan Sa Tuwid Na Daan Laban Sa Katiwalian Inc.
Sandigan para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan Alumni (SAMASA Alumni)
Sanlakas
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO)
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB)
Social Democratic Caucus (SDC)
Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP)
Sustainability and Participation through Education and Lifelong Learning (SPELL)
The Nameless Heroes and Martyrs
The Silent Majority (TSM)
World March of Women (WMW)
YOUTHS -Pandayan para sa Sosyalistang Pilipinas (YOUTHS-PANDAYAN)
1MAR Movement

#BabalikAkoSaEDSA #PeoplePower2017

SENTRO Statement in Support of the CBCP Pastoral Letter

File photo / Bullit Marquez

The Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) welcomes the Pastoral Letter released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) last January 30, 2017, entitled “For I find no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (Ez. 18:32)”. In these times of confusion, fear, state-led intimidation, and a seven-month Reign of Terror, the statement of our respected Bishops is just about the right kind of disturbing voice in the wilderness our lost compatriots need right now.

We nod in agreement when the CBCP states: “The deep root of the drug problem and criminality is the poverty of the majority, the destruction of the family and corruption in society. The step we have to take is to overcome poverty, especially through the giving of permanent work and sufficient wages to workers (underscoring ours).”

We have to confront the socio-economic and cultural factors that create this malady – including the lack of sources of income, the job insecurity, the loneliness and predatorial culture that individualistic capitalism engenders, the unreformed, syndicated and corrupt police and law enforcement.

We, as militant workers from all sectors of our society, are ourselves men and women with families, who are as adamant in protecting our own children from the dangers of the drug trade. And yet we ourselves know, from our mutual experiences in our communities, that shunning, shaming and cutting off both drug victims and drug trade elements from a second chance at reform and turning around their lives save no one in the end. We ourselves know, from our long, bitter struggle for justice and reparation in our sectors, that no solution is garnered unless a mutual acknowledgment of the dignity of our counterparts in litigation and negotiation is achieved. At the same time, we as well are aware of protecting the quality of life of our members and our allies—and are very, very wary of anyone who would dare foist easy solutions to us in the face of complex problems, at the cost of our principles and dearly-held freedoms.

We in the workers’ movement, coming as we are from all social and religious slants, see the value of transformative justice, as well as rehabilitating even our criminal elements.

With this statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Philippines stands with an awakening larger majority of our Filipino people. They are now aware of the dangers of the government’s Death Policies — Oplan Tokhang, the bills reimposing the death penalty and lowering the age of criminality – that threaten to or have destroyed our institutions, granting us a “reign of peace” that is more the peace of the grave, cramped as they are with the skulls and bones of thousands of innocent and untried victims.

We in SENTRO therefore reiterate: the Death Policies of the Duterte regime must be stopped.

As much as we workers do not always share the political views of many of our religious groups, we nevertheless loudly proclaim our conviction with them right now: a civilization built on peace, justice and love.