July 19, 2018, 5:48 am
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Palace eyes signing of EO on endo May 1

BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR AND GERARD NAVAL

MALACAÑANG is looking at the possible signing of an executive order (EO) banning contractualization or “endo” on or before Labor Day.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. said President Duterte wants the EO signed as soon as possible.

“I know that the President is rather restive about this EO.  He has mentioned to me personally that this is a campaign promise that he wants to deliver to the people very soon,” he said.

Roque said ending contractualization is a campaign promise, and the contents of the EO are expected to “side with the labor forces.”

“We all know that Labor Day is May 1. So, I would think that it will come out on or before May 1,” he added.

The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said it was initially advised about a meeting with the President on April 16 but the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) later cancelled.

“I wouldn’t make a big thing out of it (cancelled meeting), because anyway, I would think that they would want a significant EO like this to be issued in connection with another commemoration giving… recognizing the value of the labor sector in our society, which is Labor Day,” Roque said.

Labor groups assailed Duterte for giving workers false hopes.

“By deciding to cancel and opting not to sign the labor version of said EO, the President is actually pressing the stop button of the anti-endo momentum,” said Partido Manggagawa (PM) chairman Renato Magtubo. 

“Since labor has been pressing for the signing of an EO to end contractualization for years, we consider the postponement as a setback,” said Federation of Free Workers (FFW) vice president Julius Cainglet.

ALU-TUCP said it sees the hands of businesses and labor contractors behind the cancellation of the meeting with Duterte and the non-signing of the EO.

 “We don’t know if the President himself postponed the meeting but we have some basis to say that the powerful business groups close to Duterte is keeping him from signing the EO,” said ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay.

 “It is clear now that there are vested interests and agents of pro-businesses and pro-capitalists who are preventing President Duterte from signing the labor-drafted EO because they do not want to change the current status quo in the employment arrangement in the country,” he said.

Magtubo agreed with Tanjusay in saying it is surprising that Duterte is being coy on the matter.

 “The President is known for exercising absolute command. But on this issue of contractualization, legalism and bias to endo-lords were obviously in full swing,” said Magtubo.
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