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New college graduates should be spared from ‘endo’ scheme – Nograles

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Two lawmakers have welcomed Malacañang’s move to certify the security of ttenure bill as urgent to curb the practice of labor-only contracting scheme in the country.

House Appropriations Committee chair Karlo Alexei Nograles said the passage of the measure would benefit the country’s more than 40 million workers as well as college graduates poised to enter the workforce.

Nograles said 1987 Constitution clearly provides protections for workforce but noted that although the present Labor Code is supposed to operationalize this constitutional provision, “there are gray areas in the law that are exploited by employers.”

“The Security of Tenure Bill should remedy this (Endo),” he said.

In a letter dated September 21 addressed to Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, President Rodrigo Duterte certified the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent, saying that the passage of the measure would strengthen workers’ security of tenure by disallowing “the prevalent practices of contractualization and labor-only contracting.”

Nograles said next year’s new graduates should be spared from fate of ‘Endo’ practice.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority disclosed that around 30 percent of all Filipino workers “are non-regular workers,” of which half are contractual.

“Our youth study for 16, 17 years to obtain their college degrees in the hope of securing stable, gainful employment. After all their hard work, di makatarungan at masakit naman kung ang trabahong naghihintay para sa kanila ay puro 5-5-5,” said Nograles.

The term “5-5-5” refers to the practice of giving employees five-month contracts, one month short of the six months that would require employers to regularize them.

Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said Congress should adopt the Lower House version since it bans labor-only contracting by manpower agencies “that do not have capital or equipment, or do not control the means or methods of work by the employees, or employs persons who perform work that is not directly related to the principal business of the employer.”

Villarin said House Bill 6908 which the House of Representatives passed on final reading last January also upholds that regularization of contractual employees should be “with the principal employer,” and “not with the job contractor.”

“It is long overdue and a well-deserved reprieve for the working class. Contractualization is modern-day slavery couched in management language as labor flexibilization to increase productivity,” said Villarin.