PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is set to sign an executive order (EO) on contractualization by March, Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said.
“He promised that by March he will sign the executive order that we presented,” Mr. Bello said in a televised interview with reporters in Albay on Thursday.
The Labor secretary added that the draft he presented to the President will be subject to further review.
“He said he will study it first. Both of us will study it before he signs it,” Mr. Bello said.
Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) president Gerry Rivera said his group is disappointed by the delay.
“It would have been good if we had the executive order by now. We have been fighting for it within Philippine Airlines for nearly a decade,” he said.
Labor groups have said they will push for the passage of the Security of Tenure bill (House Bill 6908) which is currently pending in Congress.
HB 6908, which seeks to further amend the Presidential Decree 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines, hurdled second reading on Jan. 23. It is one of the bills listed under the Common Legislative Agenda of the 17th Congress.
Last month, Mr. Bello said “the labor department is targeting to regularize at least 300,000 contractual workers this year.”
In order to attain the target, Mr. Bello said in a statement that he has “instructed the Undersecretary for Labor Relations to order all our regional offices to require all business establishments throughout the country to submit a list of their employees and the nature of their employment. At the same time, they must submit a program of regularization.”
“Through our intensified labor inspections and voluntary regularization of collaborating establishments, we are expecting more workers to enjoy stable employment status. As President Duterte has committed, we are pursuing the campaign to stop this pernicious practice with more vigor,” Mr. Bello added.
According to DoLE, “there are 541 Labor Laws Compliance Officers (LLCOs) who conduct assessment and inspection of around 937,554 small, medium and big business establishments in the country. On top of that are 55 social partners composed of 45 labor groups, five employers’ groups, and five other organizations who were trained in Labor Laws and Social Legislation.” — Arjay L. Balinbin