Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik: Casilao today said that the ongoing meetings of the Technical Working Group (TWG) under the Committee on Labor and Employment on supposedly ending contractualization of labor in the country, has actually abandoned to fulfill President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promise to the Filipino workers.
“Our version of the bill, House Bill 556, totally stands to prohibit all forms of contractualization of labor as we aspire a genuine security of tenure to the Filipino workers, but the working draft of the TWG is actually proposing to institutionalize it,” Casilao said in a statement.
The lawmaker said that the draft has retained contractualization to the Article 106 of the Labor Code and only empowered the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment determination of type of work as open for legitimate job contracting.
“One difference of this bill is big businesses would be constrained to woo the labor secretary to permit their engagement with contractualization,” Casilao said.
On Article 295 – Regular employment, it allowed the practice of hiring project employees and seasonal workers, which the lawmaker claimed is subject to abuse.
“Employers could easily declare tasks or operations within their businesses are project-based, thus, fixing the tenure of the workers,” Casilao said.
The lawmaker said that the private sector is sly enough to get around these provisions, and even if caught, the penalties are measly fines of P30,000 to P100,000. The Anakpawis’ version proposed an imprisonment of 3 months to 2 years, so as to discourage businesses to work-around the law.
He also added that the draft bill is comparable to the Department Order No. 174 issued by Sec. Silvestre Bello, which only aims to shoot down fly-by-night manpower agencies and actually preserve big agencies that could keep up with the capitalization requirements.
“This is actually a big opportunity for the foreign monopoly to invest on their own manpower agencies as the labor supply is being scrutinized by the government, thus, to create an upward trend on the rates of job contracting,” Casilao said.
The lawmaker ended that while President Duterte is failing to keep his promise to end contractualization of labor, congress is actually paving way for foreign investors into job contracting and abandoning the expectation of the Filipino workers to a strengthened security of tenure in their jobs. ###