Even at the hype of the past long weekend, Malacañang’s recent pronouncements on the abolition of job contractualization drew much attention.
On Monday, media outlets broadcasted the Palace’s controversial statement that the government has no power to impose a total ban on contractualization.
To be specific, Malacañang said that a simple executive order (EO) would not eradicate the much contested contractualization scheme. Instead, the Labor Code itself must be amended.
In the Labor Code, hiring on a limited tenure is allowed, especially if the employer and the worker had an agreement beforehand. This usually happens when the work is seasonal; hence, the term project-based.
Amending the Labor Code would then shift the responsibility of banning ‘endo’ from Malacañang to lawmakers.
For critics, this would mean a forfeiture of the president’s campaign promise of abolishing ‘endo. (clipped form of ‘end of contractualization’).
However, there was a grain of truth on the Palace’s statement that contractualization could not be instantly banned. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in a statement published by a popular news outlet on Tuesday, said that big corporations would still prefer to hire project-based or contractual employees.
In the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2014 Survey of Employment, half of the 1.3 million non-regular workers in the Philippines are under the contractual or project-based scheme.
Thus, abolishing job contractualization will mean giving permanent employment to millions of Filipinos under the said scheme, a challenge the government will surely find daunting.
photo credits to PhilStar Global and ABS-CBN News