Duterte tells big businesses to stop contractualization

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte sends a warning to big businesses: stop contractualization for the sake of cutting costs — or risk closure.

In a release from the Presidential Communications Operations Office on Monday, Duterte said any businesses caught abusing labor laws would lose their permits.

The President said, "Alam mo wala akong pera, wala akong tao [You know, I have neither the money nor the manpower] to really inspect all of the, you know, doing away with contractualization. My message to them is very simple: Do not wait for us to inspect.”

He added, “I would like to assume that everybody who falls under that category will honor what we are asking for the people. Huwag na ninyo akong hintayin na mahuli ko kayo [Do not wait for me to catch you] because I will be unforgiving. You will not only lose your money, you will lose your plants."

The President also reiterated that he would not tolerate big businesses that abuse labor laws, saying, "Hintuan na ninyo 'yan, bayaran ninyo ang tao sa tamang suweldo [Stop abusive practices, give people their rightful wages]; stop contractualization. It will not do good to our country."

Duterte noted that contractualization was unfair to both workers and the government.

Related: Workers remind President-elect Duterte of promise to end contractualization

He mentioned that security agencies – mostly owned by members of the military or policemen – tend to abuse security guards by making them work longer hours, which was illegal.

He said that security guards should be paid "all the benefits."

He also said that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trains people to become plumbers, electricians, and carpenters only for these individuals to find jobs good only for six months.

Duterte said companies outsourcing workers must also abide by fair labor practices.

He said, "If you outsource, you must assume, therefore, as the real employer. So bayaran ninyo lahat. SSS at saka wala iyang paikot-ikot. Huwag ninyong paikutin kasi ang totoo niyan ayaw talaga ninyong magbayad."

[You have to pay them. You should not give them the runaround. Once you do that, it shows that you don't want to pay them.]

"Well, I’m sorry. Whether it’s really SM or lahat. I can even close the entire Republic of the Philippines and we can all go into hunger strike," the President said.

If big companies do not take care of the workers, then his government cannot take care of them, the President said, referring to these firms.

Watch: DOLE says contractualization legal with certain conditions

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this story.