Labor groups may not be able to get their preferred version of an executive order (EO) on job contractualization, which they expect President Duterte to sign in a forthcoming Palace meeting scheduled next month.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Tuesday said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will hold a meeting with their counterparts at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday to “justify” which version of the EO they would endorse to President Duterte.
“I will consult [with the] DTI because their leaning is with the management group,” Bello told reporters in an interview. “I will submit my recommendation [on the EO] once the President asked for it,” he added.
The labor chief issued the statement a day after Duterte announced he is considering a “compromise” EO that will be beneficial for both management and laborers.
On the same day, Bello was unable to commit to labor groups that he will be able to support their version of the EO.
Labor coalition Nagkaisa expressed dismay over the developments, saying that the President has been “misled” about their demands.
Nagkaisa Chairman Michael Mendoza reiterated their proposed EO is not anti-employer, but merely “restores the norm of direct hiring rather than use manpower suppliers or labor-only contractor.”
“We, too, Mr. President, recognize the need to balance the interest of labor and capital. The epidemic scale of contractuals laboring in precarious jobs without security of tenure calls for balance, Mr. President,” Mendoza said in a news statement.
“We call on the President to fulfill his promise to the workers to end the hopelessness and insecurity of millions,” he added.
Prior to Duterte’s latest pronouncement, the DOLE said Malacañang is currently considering the draft EO from the labor sector.
To recall, the labor department earlier said there are two versions of the EO, the one supported by management and workers and the other which was only approved by labor groups.
Both versions are almost identitical except for the definition of the security of tenure.
On February 7 Duterte was supposed to sign a new EO on contractualization, but he decided to postpone it so he could review the legality and the effect of the EO to business establishments.
The President is scheduled to meet with labor groups in the middle of March, where he is also expected to sign one of the draft EO on contractualization.
“The planned meeting and the signing [of the EO] is expected to push through unless the President will ask for more time to go over it because of its far reaching implication (on the economy),” Bello said