End to contractualization seen by 2017


The practice of “labor-only contracting” commonly known as “endo” will see its end by next year, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.  It will be among priority measures of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in its bid to better protect the welfare of Filipino workers.

Ending contractualization is among the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Existing laws and orders issued by the DOLE provide enough legal basis and teeth to curb such practices, Bello said when interviewed recently.

Department Order 18-A Series of 2011 specifically makes “subcontracting a prohibited activity when it is done through repeated hiring of workers for a five to six months employment contract under the same employer or service agreement of the same duration.”

Based on the same order, “5-5-5” or “endo” referred to the “hiring practice that is deliberately resorted to prevent workers from acquiring regular status by reason of length of service of at least six months and one day. Under a subcontracting arrangement, this is done through repeated short-term arrangements by one principal through the same contractor, or under different contractors or repeated short-term arrangements of five months, for example, under the same contractor.

The goal of the government this year is  to cut the incidence of endo or the “5-5-5” scheme by 50 per cent, through a more stringent enforcement of the existing labor code.

In case of violation, the certificate of registration of the company or contractor can be cancelled after due process, and the worker becomes regular employee of the principal, and all benefits due to him/her will become the liability of the principal, the order stated.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines has expressed support for the move to phase out and eventually abolish the practice.

Earlier, The European Chamber of Commerce in  the Philippines (ECCP)  indorsed a “more liberal” Labor Code that will still allow the practice of contractualization while preventing the abuses under such a scheme.

Photo credits:  bulatlat.com

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