Endo or labor only contracting will survive well beyond the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte unless the Security of Tenure (SOT) is certified as urgent, a labor group said on Tuesday, citing wrong data the president used during the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
During SONA, Mr. Duterte claimed that his campaign against endo resulted in the regularization of more than 300,000 workers as of early July.
According to the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) however, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has actually reported that they regularized only 182,915 as of June this year.
What Mr. Duterte might be saying perhaps is DOLE’s target to regularize workers for this year is 300,000.
“So, either the pool of speechwriters committed error because they had to rush a new speech due to the tussle in Lower House leadership or the Mr. Duterte was too eager to claim something that’s not yet accomplished,” Josua Mata, Sentro’s Secretary General said.
Mata said that he tend to believe it’s the case of the latter rather than the former. After all, Mr. Dutette has yet to deliver a single accomplishment from his myriad of campaign promises.
But even DOLE’s claim of some 182 thousand regularized is problematic, the labor leader said.
First, the labor department has yet to prove that the number they are claiming in their press releases are actually regularized workers or the number correspond only to the number they expect to be regularized based on the compliance orders they have issued. “We know for a fact that tens of thousands of workers ordered to be regularized are still waiting for its actual implantation,” Mata said. “Some have already been sacked while their cases are appealed by their companies,” Mata elaborated.
Secondly, Mata said the DOLE has yet to disaggregate those workers regularized with the principal company from those regularized under manning agencies. “We believe that most were regularized in manning agencies as that’s the policy direction taken by DOLE under DO 174, as strengthened by EO 51,” Mata said. “And that’s a bogus regularization,” he added.
“We are not against the DOLE’s drive to regularized workers,” Mata clarified. “But such efforts would only give false hopes to workers unless the Security of Tenure Bill is passed,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mata asserted that the much hyped 300,000 target for regularization pale in comparison to the estimated 1.2 million contractual workers. By DOLE’s own estimation, that would be only 15 percent of the total number of workers employed without any semblance of protection. Truth is, the 1.2 million used by DOLE was low estimate. If the high estimate of 5.1 million is used, then the target of 300,000 is only 3.5 percent.
Endo would indeed outlive the Duterte Regime if it ends by 2022.
The LEARN Research Institute showed in a press briefing that non-regular workers among the wage and salary earners would range from a low estimate of 1.19 million in 2016, plus 705,251 agency hired, based on the 2016 Philippine Statistics Authority Integrated Survey on Employment, to a high estimate of 5.1 million if one uses the Labor Force Survey of 2016.
Finally, Mata said that while Mr. Duterte’s declaration during his SONA that he is adding his voice in asking the Congress to “end the practice of endo once and for all” sounds cute in a speech, workers would still prefer a written certification of urgency for the passage of the SOT should some pro-employer Senators fail to read his statement as a marching order.