Citing the order handed down recently by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to Jolibee Food Corp., a labor group advocating the end of job contractualization, or endo, expressed belief that President Duterte, through the DOLE, can do a much better job in regularizing more contractual workers.
On April 4 DOLE-National Capital Region Director Henry John Jalbuena said his office has directed the popular burger chain to regularize its 6,482 employees.
Jalbuena also said Perf Restaurant, which owns Burger King, was also ordered to regularize its 704 employees.
In a news statement issued on Thursday, the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) said “[t]he Jollibee regularization only shows that the DOLE and the President have the power to end contractualization, even without the amendment of the Labor Code, precisely because the Labor Code allows them to do so. Regularization of all would be easier if Duterte will fulfill his promise of ending contractualization and this is through an executive order.”
The BMP added that “[i]f the DOLE can regularize thousands of workers with just one directive, just like how it regularized more than 6,000 workers of Jollibee last April 4, 2018, why can’t it regularize all contractual workers in the Philippines?”
According to the Alliance of Labor Unions (ALU), there are about 30 million contractual workers in the sectors of manufacturing services and agriculture nationwide.
The BMP’s renewed call on the President to end contractualization was the group’s reaction to Duterte’s legal aide’s statement that the Chief Executive has no power to end cotractualization through an executive order.
Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevara said it’s the duty of Congress to do so by amending the Labor Code.
Lawyer Jose Sonny G. Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), assailed Guevara’s stand, saying that the Labor Code, the Constitution and the country’s jurisprudence are sufficient bases for Duterte or Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III to stop contractualization.
Matula, an expert on labor laws, asserted that “President Rodrigo Duterte is a lawyer, [thus] he knew very well where he spoke when he promised to end contractualization [during] the presidential election campaign two years ago.”
Matula reminded Duterte that “[t]he right to security of tenure is a constitutional right (Article XIII, Section 3, of the Constitution). Thus, your profession, your job or employment is a property right protected by the due process clause of the fundamental law [as the FFW leader cited the Callanta v Carnation case in relation to Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution].”
Thus, FFW strongly urged the President to carry out what the laws ordered him to do for the irregular workers nationwide.