National post aspirants from labor sector hit Moreno on contractualization remarks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) – Labor leaders seeking public office in the 2022 polls hit presidential aspirant Isko Moreno for his remarks setting aside contractualization if elected.

Presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman said the Manila mayor already neglected the plight of contractual workers this early.

"'Yung middle class na batang Tondo na may ₱70M sa SALN ay nakalimot na sa mga problema ng milyon-milyong kontraktwal na manggagawa," said de Guzman in his tweet

[Translation: The one who considers himself middle class and Tondo kid that has ₱70 million in his SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) seems to forget the problems of millions of contractual workers.]

RELATED: Presidential aspirant Isko Moreno says net worth at ₱70M, ready to release SALN 

In a Pampanga sortie earlier this week, Moreno said ending contractualization will be the least of his concerns if elected president.

On the other hand, De Guzman said if elected president, he will issue an executive order on a labor first policy that will put an end to contractualization.

The policy, he said, will include an aggressive job creation program and set the national minimum wage at ₱750. The benchmark minimum wage in Metro Manila is ₱537.

"Ang trabaho ay dapat sapat at may dignidad. Di sila nagtatrabaho para payamanin lamang ang mga bilyonaryo, ginagawa nila ito upang buhayin ang kanilang mga pamilya," said de Guzman, chairperson of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

[Translation: A job should be sufficient and is dignified enough for every worker. They are not working just to make the billionaires richer, but to provide the needs of their families.]

Senatorial aspirant Elmer Labog said contractualization deprives workers of job security and causes anxiety, poverty, and mental health problems to them and their families. 

"Imbes na sisihin ang manggagawa, dapat lahat ng kandidato para presidente ay magkaroon ng plano para sa industriyalisasyon ng Pilipinas. Ito ang solusyon para magkaroon ng maraming industriya at kumpanyang Pilipino na may kapasidad na lumikha ng mga good quality, stable at secure na trabaho," said Labog.

[Translation: Instead of blaming the workers, all of the presidential candidates must have a plan for the industrialization of the Philippines. This is the solution to have more Filipino-owned industries and companies which have the capacity to create good-quality, stable, and secure jobs.]

Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno, said the Labor Code was amended many times to solve the "endo" labor practice, but noted there are still around seven to 10 million contractual workers according to the latest data of the International Labor Organization.

"End of contract" or "endo" is a highly contested form of contractualization widely practiced in the country, where workers are hired for not more than five months so employers don't need to regularize them on the sixth month as mandated by the Labor Code. It strips millions of workers of all the benefits granted by law to regular employees.

President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the anti-endo bill in 2019, citing the need to balance the concerns of employers and employees. 

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment showed that around 700,000 workers were regularized since the start of Duterte's term.