(Source: Inside Retail Philippines | 4 July 2016)
Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to stop contractualization once seated, a labor advocacy partylist files a measure to abolish the much talked about employment scheme.
Anak Pawis Partylist representative Ariel Casilao has filed a bill at the House of Representatives to consider workers and employees of a contractor or subcontractor as employees of the actual employer if the work done is “necessary and desirable for the business of the employer”. The House public relations service said this means employers who hire contractors and subcontractors will be held responsible for the welfare and benefits of outsourced labor as if they “were directly employed by the said employer or principal.”
“[The bill] removes various obstacles to the extreme exploitation of workers which they have won through decades of struggles,” Casilao said.
He said recent studies estimate that contractuals now outnumber regular employees in the Philippines. He said large corporations such as SM notoriously employ contractual employees with shortened employment tenures of three to five months.
He added that based on government data, 44 per cent of workers are not considered regular employees.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, however, assured the business sector that labor regulations under the Duterte administration should not cause fear.
“Regulations will both be strict and equitable. There will be elbow room in their imposition so don’t be afraid,” he said in a meeeting with business leaders held in Davao City in June.
During the summit, finance secretary Carlos Dominguez emphasised that what Duterte wants to end is the practice of hiring workers for five-month contracts, a practice known to avoid regulations that give benefits to workers considered regular and are employed for more than six months.
“There are jobs that really lend themselves to contracts. That kind of contract is okay,” Dominguez said.