The workers belonging to Sentro ng mga Progresibo at Nagkakaisang Manggagawa (Sentro) are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent, as the Executive Order 51 failed to address contractualization.
The House of Representatives has already passed HB House Bill 6908, or “An Act Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Workers, amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Labor Code of the Philippines and the Senate has filed its S.B. 1826.
However, “experience show that without direction from the executive department, the Congress will not enact an important law in due time,” according to Hessel Larcia, Sentro NCR Chair.
According to Larcia, “there is only nine months remaining for the current 17th Congress and the obsolete and anti-workers Marcos-era law which was responsible for contractualization will persist and will continue to pester the workers should the government fail to pass the SOT.”
“As we have anticipated, the employers will just challenge at the Supreme Court DOLE’s orders for regularization sans a clear EO prohibiting it and a SOT breezing its way at Congress,” Larcia said.
Larcia also added that “since the president failed to honor his promise to put an end to endo immediately via an executive order, the next best thing that he can do is at least certify the SOT Bill as urgent.”
The workers are hoping that Duterte will announce his intention to certify the SOT Bill as urgent during his 3rd State of the Nation Address on July 23, 2018.
The group also believes that security of employment is an effective tool to encourage more productivity, citing a recent survey conducted by Swiss-based business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the Philippines came 50th in a list of 63 countries in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook.
This was “a drop of nine places from its rank of 41st in 2017, and it was highlighted as the biggest drop experienced by an Asian country in the rankings. The Philippines is now the lowest ranked Southeast Asian country among the five included in the rankings as well as the second lowest among the 14 Asia-Pacific countries in the list” the report said.
“The employers and capitalist had always monopolized the dynamics of industrial relations by allowing them to dictate even regularization of their workers and this has to stop,” he added.