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DOLE approves new ‘endo’ policy

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, March 17th, 2017

After a nine-month dialogue, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III has signed on Thursday the Department Order # 174 Series of 2017 or the DOLE order on contracting and subcontracting.

This, after a series of dialogues with labor groups and employers across the country on the creation of a new policy on contractualization or endo.

But the labor groups argue that the new order will only regulate and not prohibit contractualization. Thus, it will not provide solution on labor issues caused by the endo scheme.

“We’ll try to seek audience again with the President and tell him this is not your campaign promise, this is not your instruction. Why the goal of the leadership of the present administration of department of labor contradicting or contravening the instructions made by the President,” PALEA President Gerry Rivera said.

The labor secretary, on the other hand, clarifies that he has no power to totally prohibit all forms of contractualization and fixed term employment since only congress has the authority to do so by amending existing laws.

‘Under the law I can regulate contractual and subcontractual arrangements but I can also prohibit labor only contracting but the legitimate contracting and subcontracting I cannot prohibit that is for Congress to prohibit… even though the president wants it to end, the problem is there are existing laws which allows certain forms of contractual arrangements,” said DOLE Secretary Bello III.

Bello says the regulations stated in the order is in accordance to the President’s directives when it comes to the employment of Filipino workers.

“When the President said he doesn’t like endo or contractualization what he was referring to is the illegal and unlawful contractual arrangement. So, it is still in line with the President’s marching order,” Secretary Bello III added.

Among the prohibitions under the new DOLE order are: labor- only contracting; contracting out of job or work through an in- house agency; repeated hiring by the contractor/ subcontractor of employees under an employment contract of short duration or the hiring of worker for only a short period of time.

DOLE will immediately implement the said order and vows to intensify inspections of companies and business establishments across to the country to ensure that the rights and benefits of workers are not being violated.

“The number is close to 630,000 plus the workers not included here. 1.3 million non-regular workers under the bilateral arrangement… this may reach close to two million workers in the event of the full implementation of this new department order,” labor undersecretary Maglunsod said. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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House passes Security of Tenure Bill

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Contractualization will be prohibited if the Security of Tenure Bill will be passed into law.

The bill has already passed the third and final reading and is just awaiting its Senate version.

Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin said that this will benefit around two million Filipinos who are now employed under the contractualization scheme.

This includes construction workers, sales representatives in malls, waiters in hotels and restaurants and security guards.

But it exempts Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), relievers and seasonal workers like farm workers.

“Even if paputol-putol yung trabaho mo basta lampas 6 months ay automatic kang magiging regular,” said Villarin.

(Even if you’ve been working on and off as long as it’s over 6 months, you are automatically regularized.)

Ronie is one of those who are hoping to be a regular employee.

“We keep moving from one job to another, it’s difficult, ” he said.

Even teachers who are still on probation will also benefit from the said bill.

“Sinasabi nila, ‘O, teacher kailangan mong i-train pa ng 2 years, probationary period ng 2 years.’ Ngayon bawal na ho yan,” said Villarin.

(They say teachers should be under a probationary period of two years. It’s not allowed anymore.)

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), however, said that companies might opt to directly recruit employees and reduce contracting with manpower pooling providers.

“They will push for more productivity and automation,” said Donald Dee, the acting president of ECOP.

The Associated Labor Unions (ALU)-TUCP, on the other hand, supports the passage of the bill but they are also drafting an executive order that will be presented to President Rodrigo Duterte in their dialogue in February.

The group said that the proposed EO will be stricter in prohibiting the practice of contractualization.

“Sa tingin namin ay mas mataas ang kalidad ng kanilang buhay kung gagawing regular ni Pangulong Duterte yung mga magtatrabaho dito sa Build, Build, Build,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.

(We believe the quality of life of people who would be working under the Build, Build, Build program of the government  will improve if President Rodrigo will regularize them.)

The group will also ask the president for a P500 subsidy for minimum wage earners to minimize the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Government chief negotiator hopeful that peace talks will resume

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

MANILA, Philippines —  The main government negotiator has not yet given up his hope in the peace talks with the rebel communists.

According to government chief negotiator and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, there is still hope that the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) will resume with their talk.

This is despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he no longer wants to face them and even tagged CPP-NPA as “terrorists”.

“We actually know that from the very start the President wants peace and has stated publicly that his best legacy to our country is enduring and lasting peace. So I think, the President has not abandoned that dream for our country,” Bello said.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is also willing to resume the derailed dialogue with the government despite their harsh criticisms against President Duterte.

According to NDFP consultant Felix Randy Malayao, the representative of the revolutionary movement is always ready to return to the negotiating table in an effort to solve the root of the armed conflict. But he said their plan to negotiate does not include surrendering to the government.

According to the lawyer of the NDFP consultant, hopefully, President Duterte’s dream for peace will be paralleled with action.

“Kung mayroon siyang mga natatanggap na bali-balita o ulat na diumano ay mga paglabag sa mga kasunduan o di kaya ay iyong mga sinasabing engkwentro o violent acts kailangang imbestigahan muna. Hindi iyong binulong lang ay agad-agad ay sasabihin gospel truth na at nagpuputok na agad ang butsi. Kailangang mahinahon kasi ano siya lider siya ng bansa,” NDFP Consultants legal counsel Atty. Edre Olalia said in a phone interview.

(If he has been receiving news or reports of alleged violations of the agreement or claimed encounters or violent acts, it must be first investigated. He shouldn’t lose his temper over whispered allegations that are instantly taken as gospel of truth. He should be calm because he is the country’s leader.)

The only problem is if the court favors the petition being prepared by the Department of Justice to declare the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group. It has been the regulation of the government to no longer negotiate with terrorists.  — Roderic Medoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Congress leaders define 35 priority legislations for 2nd regular session

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Leaders from the upper and lower houses of Congress convened on Wednesday to identify measures included in their common legislative agenda.

Senate President Aquino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, majority leaders Cong. Rudy Fariñas and Senator Tito Sotto and minority leaders Congressman Danilo Suarez and Senator Franklin Drilon were among those who attended the meeting.

House majority leader Cong. Fariñas said, in order to facilitate easier passage of bills, they segmentized the second regular session into four quarters.

In the first quarter starting this Monday to October this year, they will prioritize the passage of tax reform package, traffic crisis and Emergency Powers Act, national ID system, end of contractualization or “endo”, among others.

While they have not set a definite timeline, House and Senate also agreed to focus on passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Minority leader Cong. Danilo Suarez expects long debates on this.

“We agreed to have it prioritized pero ang problema hindi pa namin nakikita eh, hindi ko pa nababasa ang BBL eh (but the problem is, we have yet to see it. I have not read the BBL yet.) Sa Senado hindi pa nila nakikita (They have not seen it yet in the Senate). So sinabi ng pangulo iyon (The President mentioned it) so we have to come up with a responsive action. We will prioritize it,” he said.

Revision of the Constitution is also identified as one of the legislative agenda and Congress has agreed to create a technical working group for it.

House majority leader Cong. Fariñas said, “ang napagusapan namin (What we discussed was) if we cannot wait for the commission being created by the president, both Houses bubuo nalang kami ng parang (we’ll just form something like a)… technical working group ng (of) both Houses na magpepresent ng (that will present) amendments to the act.”

Leaders from the House of Representatives are positive they will be able to hit all these 35 target bills for this second regular session. They say most of the job is in the Senate, as some measures like the tax reform are already finished in third and final reading in the lower chamber.

While the barangay elections are already in October, the bill for the postponement of the barangay elections is not in the priority agenda of both Houses.

“Hindi ito legislative agenda dahil hindi pumapabor si Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon. On the part of the House okay kami. Postpone the elections, no hold over, doon nagkakatalo kasi eh, ” said Fariñas. —  Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue

WATCH:  Pres. Duterte’s 2nd State of Nation Address



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